10th International Symposium on GIS and Computer Mapping for Coastal Management
By Roger Longhorn, CoastGIS 2011 Local Secretariat
CoastGIS 2011 was co-hosted in Oostende, Belgium, by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO, International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange (IODE) Project Office and the Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ). The European Science Foundation’s Marine Board donated their conference room for one of the two parallel streams of papers throughout the conference. These institutions are all situated in the new InnovOcean site on the quayside in Oostende harbour. Coping with some very windy coastal weather conditions throughout the conference, the facilities provided by the hosts were excellent, as was the catering and support provided by IOC IODE and VLIZ staff. A technical Exhibition ran in parallel with the main conference, organised by GeoMares Publishing, the event’s sole media partner. The co-organisers were CORILA – Consortium for Coordination of Research Activities Concerning the Venice Lagoon System – and EUCC – The Coastal & Marine Union.
Focus of the CoastGIS conferences has expanded beyond technology and applications alone, to encompass a wider range of subjects, including data access and sharing policies, information infrastructures, spatial planning and socio-economic issues. The theme for this year’s conference was “Marine and Coastal Spatial Planning”, which provided the focus for the keynote speech from Dr. Wendy Watson-Wright, Executive Secretary of IOC and Assistant Director of UNESCO, as well as the welcome speech from Dr. Johan Vande Lanotte, President of EUCC. Several of the papers presented at the conference also discussed how geospatial data and technology were being applied in Marine Spatial Planning activities across the globe.
Oral Presentations and Posters
The 78 papers, presented in two parallel streams from 6-8 September, covered four main areas: geospatial technology, thematic issues (e.g. climate change, conservation, pollution, etc.), ICZM methods and applications, and non-technical themes (e.g. coastal/marine SDI, MSP, PPGIS, etc.). The papers offered for oral presentation were supplemented by 13 posters, presented on the second day of the conference. The conference Committee and participants alike were very pleased with the quality of the papers and the presentations.
Two parallel workshops preceded the main conference, held on the afternoon of 5 September. The first was a hands-on session held in the IOC IODE training room, led by a team from Univ. of Aberdeen, on ‘GIS and Coastal Flooding’. The second was a combined workshop covering “SDI Capacity Building in the Hydrographic Community’, led by Dr. Mike Osborne and John Pepper, followed by “The INSPIRE SDI Directive for Coastal/Marine Communities’, led by co-organiser, Roger Longhorn, for the EUCC. A drinks reception, hosted by VLIZ, followed the workshops and was much appreciated by all!
The 78 oral papers and 13 posters were contributed by more than 280 authors and co-authors from the following 32 nations and 4 international organisations.
|EEA||EC (JRC)||UNEP GRID-A||ICES|
Conference Reception and Dinner
The official conference reception was hosted at the historic Fort Napoleon Museum, located on the coast at Oostende, just a few minutes from the conference venue. Despite the blustery wind, many of the participants braved the 25 minute walk along the coast to reach the museum. Guides led participants around the museum and ramparts, while snacks and drinks were available throughout.
The conference dinner was a highlight of the event (according to all who participated!), a ‘medieval dinner’ held in an old church in the historic city of Bruges. While supping on food, wine and beer served at long trencher tables, according to medieval custom, the dinner guests were treated to a live entertainment provided by 20 actors and actresses. We were guests of the Duke of Normandy and his lady at their manor (in 1458), accompanied by ladies in waiting, knights engaged in robust sword fighting, a fire eater (!), witches, displays of eagles and owls flying over the heads of the diners, and various ‘knighting’ ceremonies performed by the Duke. An evening not to be missed – photographs and movies will be on the conference web site for all to see!
Esri Student Grants
GIS software company Esri graciously offered four Student Grants of 500 USD each to the four students offering the best papers (and oral presentations) at the conference, as selected by a panel drawn from the CoastGIS International Committee. The standard was high and 17 papers qualified for the award. The winners were:
- Kimberly Baldwin (Barbados) – “A geospatial framework to support ecosystem based management and marine spatial planning for the transboundary Grenadine Islands”
- Carolina Schmanech Mussi (Brazil) – “Coastal sensibility and risk evaluation to sea level rise: A case study in Santa Catarine Island, Brazil”
- Natasa Vaidianu (Romania) – “Implications of accessibility degree in the Danube Delta human community, Romania”
- Rizqi Abdulharis (Indonesia) – “Qualitative survey in the delineation of customary marine tenure boundary in the study of empowering indigenous coastal community in Maluku Island, Indonesia”
The students were very appreciative of the awards which help to defray the costs of attending the conference.
The Technical Exhibition
The CoastGIS 2011 conference was accompanied by a technical exhibition, set up by GeoMares Publishing, the conference sole media partner, including the following organizations:
- Aqua Vision BV – an independent Hydro- and Oceanographic Consultancy with clients including government agencies, dredging and offshore industry and engineering companies worldwide. www.aquavision.nl
- ASICON – a division of Astron NV, member of the S&SS group, delivers solutions for the oceanographic, hydrographic, and geological market. www.asicon.be – www.astron.be – www.sss.be
- BLAST – an EU INTERREG funded project that addresses harmonisation in a variety of contexts around the North Sea – including harmonisation of national approaches to maritime information, harmonisation of spatial data across the land/sea boundary and harmonisation of approaches to coastal zone management. www.blast-project.eu
- CARIS BV – a provider of marine geospatial software solutions who offer a complete ‘Ping-to-Chart’ workflow, with offices in Canada, The Netherlands, US and Australia. www.caris.nl
- CORILA – an association of the Ca’ Foscari University, the IUAV University of Venice, the University of Padua, the Italy’s National Research Council and the National Institute of Oceanography and Experimental Geophysics, which promotes and coordinates research on the Venice lagoon. www.corila.it
- Esri – the market leader in GIS technology, whose software is used in more than 300,000 organizations worldwide – the only vendor providing complete technical solutions for desktop, mobile, server, and Internet platforms. www.esri.com
- Nautikaris – founded in 1968, supplies hydrographic equipment and is a qualified and experienced sales and service company. www.nautikaris.com
Verdict of the Conference?
Participants and visitors alike declared that CoastGIS 2011 was a success, from the quality of the papers presented to the extracurricular activities – especially the reception and dinner -even though two of the three planned field trips had to be cancelled due to the blustery weather conditions. Where to next? CoastGIS 2013 is planned for early June, 2013, to be held at the Univ. of Victoria, in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Watch the web for details!