Over 150 senior leaders from mapping and cadastral organisations have gathered in Cambridge for the 2013 Cambridge Conference. Delegates arrived at Churchill College, Cambridge on Sunday and were greeted by glorious sunshine, making it one of the hottest conferences in its 85-year history. With the sun shining it made it the perfect afternoon for delegates to catch-up with international colleagues from around the globe and also provided an opportunity to meet new delegates in the grounds of the picturesque college.
A busy Monday began with our Director General and Chief Executive, Vanessa Lawrence CB, opening the 2013 Cambridge Conference. Vanessa welcomed the delegates to the conference and outlined the plans for the week. Vanessa expressed her delight in having this year’s Cambridge Conference coupled with the Third Session of the United Nations Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM3), which will be held from 24 to 26 July 2013, at the Corn Exchange in Cambridge City Centre.
Vanessa was followed on the stage by two keynote speakers; first up was Janet Williams QPM, Chair of Interpol’s Protection and Security International Experts Group and National Security Advisor for the Qatar World Cup 2022. Janet’s fascinating presentation looked at the need for detailed planning, diverse expert help, flexibility, creativity and humour when preparing for worldwide international events. Janet used a selection of great case studies from several high profile events including the Royal Wedding and 2012 Olympic Games. Next up was Executive Head and Chief Meteorologist, Paul Davies, from the Met Office. Paul discussed the challenges of forecasting in a changing world and the important role that authoritative geospatial information plays in forecasting and helping to prepare for extreme weather conditions. He was also able to give delegates an accurate weather forecast for the coming week in Cambridge!
Following the excellent keynote presentation the delegates had the opportunity to look around the exhibition area made up of our seven sponsors – 1Spatial, DigitalGlobe, esri, Infotech, Trimble, Hexagon and Oracle.
The UN-GGIM Third Session officially opens on Wednesday 24 July; however as part of today’s agenda delegates were able to watch an informative session from various UN officials highlighting the role of the United Nations Inter-Government Mechanisms.
After lunch delegates split into groups for two parallel sessions. It was a hard decision whether to listen to the session on ‘the economics of mapping and cadastral data’ or to opt for the session on ‘the role of mapping and cadastre authorities in special events’. Both sessions were extremely well attended with many delegates sharing their highlights with one another during the refreshment break.
The day came to a conclusion with the 2013 Hotine Lecture with Geographer and BBC presenter Nick Crane. Nick fittingly started the lecture talking about his admiration for Brigadier Martin Hotine and how Hotine was inspirational in the surveying of Great Britain through his retriangulation of the nation. Nick also talked about some of his memorable adventures including his great walk along the central meridian, where he had to stay within a 2000 metre corridor for four months. This adventure saw Nick overcome several unusual challenges including wading through rivers, dodging balls on golf courses and even crossing military firing ranges.
As the day came to an end delegates headed to their rooms looking forward to another informative day at the Cambridge Conference 2013. For further information visit www.cambridgeconference.com or follow #CambConf13 on Twitter.