ArcNews Online

Winter 2007/2008
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Bringing Decision Makers Together

Professionals Meet in Singapore for Geospatial Knowledge, Decision Making

GIS users explored the powerful relationship between geography and decision making at the 2007 Esri South Asia User Conference, November 2930. More than 250 professionals who use Esri technology gathered at the Novotel Clarke Quay Hotel in Singapore. Attendees hailed from across the region, including Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Bangladesh, and Brunei.

During the conference's opening session, Leslie Wong, CEO of Esri South Asia Pte. Ltd., Esri's distributor in Singapore, noted, "Charting our future is not simply about theory or technology, it is about the choices and decisions we make that matter." Wong commended the GIS community for influencing the growing awareness of GIS technology, as well as contributing to society with its expertise and intelligent decisions.

Exciting Times

As Wong welcomed the conference attendees, he reflected on how this is an exciting time for GIS—a time when geography, an age-old discipline, is converging with the information age. Lam Joon Khoi, the keynote speaker and chief executive of the Singapore Land Authority, discussed how Esri South Asia took excellent initiative in bringing together the region's GIS community. Khoi expressed his gratitude for the ability to share innovative applications and new ideas with this group. He also expressed his appreciation of the role played by geospatial information in decision making, especially in the highly urbanized and densely populated Singapore.

Khoi stated that the Land Data Hub in Singapore today is a rich repository of more than 100 layers of GIS data, contributed by more than 14 public agencies. "Beyond spatial data," Khoi said, "the Singapore NSDI [National Spatial Data Infrastructure] will look into synergizing with other data hubs, such as People Hub and Business Hub, that traditionally capture textual data."

Dean Angelides, manager of international operations at Esri, USA, discussed during the Plenary Session how the world needs a geographic approach that changes how we see things and on what we base our decisions. Angelides also talked about the latest capabilities of the current software release, ArcGIS 9.2, and presented the ArcGIS road map, illustrating what's in store for GIS.

Sharing What Matters

Esri users gave presentations about applying GIS to decisions affecting environment, government, health care, transportation, and utility domains. Speakers from an array of public agencies and private-sector businesses also participated in the conference proceedings, sharing their experiences and insight and conveying how GIS has been used successfully in their organizations. Other presentations highlighted the issues faced by communities today and possible solutions through the use of GIS.

Technical workshops were conducted by staff from Esri South Asia and Esri Australia Pty. Ltd., focusing on recent GIS solutions. Five organizations showcased their products and services in areas ranging from IT and GIS to GPS and remote sensing. Esri experts were also on hand to answer user questions. Attendees were able to meet one-on-one with Esri staff, connect with solution providers, and network with their fellow users during this eye-opening event.

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