Anniversaries - AGI 25, GIS Pro 10 - 03/12/2014


We are delighted to congratulate AGI on reaching its 25th year and celebrating with a really good conference last month. 2014 GeoCom: The Changing Face of Geo celebrated the past but, more than ever, was looking forward to a bright future.

While we were in Kenilworth we took the opportunity of interviewing Dr Vanessa Lawrence on the occasion of her leaving Ordnance Survey after 13 years at the helm and latterly as secretary general of OS International. No-one has done more to promote our industry in that time and we wish her well in her continuing role with the UN and whatever else she will be doing. We are certain she will still be an ambassador for GI wherever she goes.

We hope that you will also congratulate GIS Professional on reaching its 10th birthday and, by way of marking this occasion we went back to the nine authors from the original edition to find that all of them are still working, five of them for the same employer as in 2004; and Adena Schutzberg is still writing a column for us. Professor Mike Batty from UCL’s CASA has updated his article on 3D London and, in the next issue we will summarise comments from others on how they view the last ten years of GIS and/or their own career developments. Only Mark Linehan has left the industry – he was CEO of AGI at the time and is now running the Association of Ethical Restaurants! We have been unable to contact him to find out if he uses GIS to calculate food miles! We have also provided a timeline of important events in our evolution since 2004.

Our main articles this time include reports on Day One of AGI GeoCom and on the Awards Dinner. Iain Stewart was a brilliant host by all accounts and we congratulate all of the award winners – we are just sorry we don’t have room to carry pictures of everyone.

We have majored on geodemographics now that the 2011 Census results are finally processed and available for a variety of GI-related products and services. There is an overview from Peter Sleight and a particular example – MOSAIC – from Richard Jenkings at Experian. Ian Masser reviews the mid-term report on INSPIRE, while Riley Marsden explains how Barnsley uses geospatial information to great advantage for all its citizens.

In the last two issues, we have commented on OPSI’s adjudication on the inability of 77M to reach a satisfactory licence deal to use the Ordnance Survey’s intellectual copyright in the Land Registry index maps. This is still not resolved as we go to press, although it may be awaiting the chancellor’s autumn statement, which will apparently set out a future path for Ordnance Survey and its datasets. Meanwhile, Getmapping, Bluesky and eight other British geospatial companies have filed a complaint with the European Commission alleging unfair competition from Ordnance Survey. It looks as if whoever becomes the next director general will have plenty on their plate. We just hope that these disputes will be resolved in such a way that geospatial information, from whichever organisation, public or private, will become more available and will be more widely used so that all of us can benefit in our private or commercial lives.

This article was published in GIS Professional December 2014

Last updated: 15/12/2019