URISA Caribbean GIS Conference in Curacao to Feature Influential Keynote Speakers

URISAThe Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA) is pleased to announce the keynote speakers for the Seventh Caribbean GIS Conference, taking place in Curacao, October 26-30, 2014. The 2014 conference theme is “Spatial Technologies: Fueling Economic Growth and Development.”  Mr. Steve Kemp, Executive Director of OpenPlan, will deliver the opening keynote address and Mr. Trevor Taylor, Director for the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC), will provide the closing keynote address.

Opening Keynote Address – Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Working Together to Plan a Prosperous Future: Using GIS to Make Effective Plans and Achieve Results
As a spatial planner who has been working on projects in the Caribbean since 2006, Steve Kemp has come to know and love the region and is passionate about the role that spatial planning can play in helping Caribbean nations and communities tackle the challenges they face and seize opportunities that have all-too-often remained just beyond their grasp. In 2012/13, Steve led a multi-disciplinary team combining professionals from the Caribbean and the UK to help the Government of Trinidad & Tobago prepare a new National Spatial Development Strategy. The team included GIS experts who made major contributions to the plan-making process. Steve will explain how this experience has increased his understanding and appreciation of the key role that GIS can – and should – play in preparing sound, relevant, evidence-based and effective plans, and that GIS specialists can play in bringing different professions out of their silos to work as integrated teams with common purpose and understanding. He will also explain how GIS can help in engaging communities in plan-making and place-making and facilitating informed participation in democratic decision making.

Founder and Executive Director of OpenPlan based in the United Kingdom, Steve is a spatial planner with over 30 years professional experience who specializes in strategic, integrated and creative planning. His public and private sector work has enabled him to refine his approach, believing that, at its core, planning is about managing change to achieve the best for people now and in the future – a value that he places at the heart of OpenPlan.


Closing Keynote Address – Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Role of Standards in Geospatial Information Management for the Caribbean and Beyond

Throughout The Caribbean and the world, there is growing awareness and understanding of the power of location in decision making and the importance of open geospatial standards to enable and ease the sharing and application of this information, across a myriad of available information technologies. In response to a recent United Nations Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM) Secretariat request, the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC), the Geomatics Technical Committee of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) collaborated to create a guide that outlines the importance of open standards supporting the development of Spatial Data Infrastructure. The guide is intended to assist organizations and communities of interest in determining what capabilities are required to meet current and future needs and how specific standards relate to the capabilities. This talk will  provides attendees with insight into the different tiers of geospatial capabilities desired by organizations, the essential standards associated with each tier, and includes real world operational implementations.

Trevor Taylor, currently responsible for Services for Asia and the Americas for the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC), has over twenty-five years of experience in the international Earth Observation community. With a background in Geography (Carleton University, Canada), Mr. Taylor has worked with the Canada Centre for Remote Sensing, Dipix Technologies, Interra (now InterMap) Technologies and, for the last 15 years, PCI Geomatics, where his last position was Director, Business Development with a focus on Central and South America. Mr. Taylor has significant global experience in a wide variety of technical, client services, project, business and strategic planning activities. Mr. Taylor was PCI Geomatics’ business contact to OGC for the past decade, representing PCI and OGC interests at the technical, principal, principal plus and strategic levels, particularly in South America, India, China and Western Europe.

In addition to these influential keynote speakers, the conference will feature preconference workshops and courses, important regional conversations, dozens of educational sessions, and a solutions exhibition. Individuals are encouraged to make their travel plans swiftly as the significantly-discounted conference hotel rate being offered by the Santa Barbara Resort (only $129 including internet) expires on October 8. Complete conference details, registration and hotel information is online.

[Source: URISA press release]