According to a report published last year for Google prepared by the British research company Oxera the Geographic Information (GI) sector is estimated to be globally worth about $150 - 270 billion annually. This is approximately one third the size of the global aviation industry.
What is possibly even more important than the size of the GI sector is that Oxera estimates that it is growing globally by about 30% annually. This represents truly outstanding expansion. The fairly well known Google Maps and Google Earth represent a tiny tip of a major GI iceberg. Nowadays hundreds of millions of smart phones in Europe have a location sensing ability and location based services are being delivered in real time on a rapidly increasing scale to citizens. Businesses are increasingly becoming aware of the efficiency gains, cost savings and market discovery uses of GI.
Europe cannot afford to let the opportunities offered by this massive and rapidly expanding market slip away.
Anyone who is interested in promoting economic development, or more generally, just understanding how GI will change ordinary citizen’s daily lives and impact on businesses should attend EUROGI’s imaGIne conference in Berlin on 8 and 9 October.
EUROGI’s imaGIne Conference
A key aim of the conference is to showcase the best Europe has to offer in the GI field.
Smart cities, energy, demography, job creation and economic growth, environment, open information and transparent governance are some of the main fields in which the role of GI will be considered in detail during interactive sessions. Another area of focus will be the European Union’s multi-billion investment in Copernicus, a satellite based initiative which in the coming years will provide massive amounts of new detailed GI which can be used across many fields.
As a practical example of the application of GI there will be a session which focusses on the insurance industry. Examples of how costs can be avoided and efficiency gains can be made will be showcased. Whilst the focus will be on the insurance industry delegates could get insights which apply to many other sectors, such as retail, transport, health, safety and security.
We all are acutely aware that we live in an increasingly globalised world. Apart from focussing on specific areas such as energy etc and an industry (insurance) top speakers will place Europe in a global GI context; what are our current strengths and weaknesses and where are the globally emerging opportunities on the basis of new and emerging GI technologies.
Given the societal wide impact of GI potential delegates could come from virtually any economic, social, environmental or governance sector. Business people, government policy makers as well as others from quite different backgrounds would all be welcome and would surely gain new and useful insights into how GI can benefit them in work, or leisure, environments.
The presentations and discussions will be aimed at a non-technical audiences so EUROGI particularly looks forward to attendance by non-technical persons, ‘the uninitiated’. A key aim is to keep jargon to an absolute minimum.
Patronage and Speakers
In recognition of the importance of the GI sector and more specifically the imaGIne conference, the German Vice Chancellor, Sigmar Gabriele, is the patron of the conference.
In line with the ‘showcase the best Europe has to offer’ aim EUROGI has lined up top level speakers in the various focus areas. The speakers will be from the public and private sectors as well as from the European GI research community.
imaGIne and INTERGEO
The imaGIne conference will be held in the same venue and at the same time as the annual INTERGEO fair. The fair provides a showcase for GI technologies and will have between 400 and 500 exhibitors. Based on past experience about 15 000 people are expected to visit the fair.
Conference delegates are welcome to browse at the fair as part of a combined conference/fair offer.
Berlin: A Great City to Visit
Berlin is by far the main city tourist destination in Germany. Visitors come to savour the cultural, entertainment, hospitality, gastronomic and retail services. ‘Come to the conference, experience the City’; two great opportunities for delegates.
EUROGI is the European Umbrella Organisation for Geographic Information and draws its membership from across Europe. Its main aim is to promote the widespread and effective use of Geographic Information and Geotechnologies. See www.eurogi.org for further information about EUROGI.
Further information about the conference and registration can be found at www.imagine2014.eu.