Bringing Geomatics and Geospatial Professionals Closer - GEO Business 2017 - 04/04/2017

Event chair, Steven Eglinton, director of GeoEnable and vice-chair of AGI, urges geospatial professionals to come together for two days of conferences, workshops and exhibitions to learn, network, share and collaborate.

While GEO Business’ roots are in survey and geomatics, the event has broadened into ‘geospatial’. It covers not only data capture, but data processing, management, use, re-use, maintenance and how to add value to business. It looks at the whole spectrum of what ‘geospatial’ can mean.

Organisations represented include:

  • Association for Geographic Information (AGI)
  • Chartered Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors (ICES)
  • Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE)
  • Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)
  • The Survey Association (TSA)


I love the mix of exhibitors which for me makes GEO Business different. We bridge the gap across different disciplines (and organisations), all in the ‘Geospatial Spectrum’.

The free-to-attend exhibition is complimented by free-to-attend ‘associated meetings’ and ‘commercial workshops’ for industry bodies and commercial organisations, typically introducing technical solutions or focused ‘hot topics’.

On the web pages, we describe the event as an “…international exhibition at which visitors will be surrounded by the most exciting new products and services as around 200 companies gather with ideas from across the globe.”

We have a strong theme for the conference, built on two subthemes for each day. The focus is change in our industries to identify the opportunities now and in the near-future and how we take advantage of them:

  • Day 1 is about Digital Innovation for Geomatics and Geospatial.
  • Day 2 is Geospatial, Underpinning Infrastructure Projects and Asset Management – the application of geospatial in infrastructure; opportunities around projects like Crossrail 1, HS2, Crossrail 2, Hinckley Point, Thames Tideway Tunnel, Northern Line extension.



For me, networking is key. I am from a GIS / remote-sensing background but I know people in all the major survey companies and catch-up with them at GEO Business. It’s always interesting to see new geomatics/survey solutions and what’s happening internationally too. As the technologies and techniques blend, the geospatial industry needs to work closer together.

To catch-up with people you know (and get to know some you don’t!), there are networking opportunities throughout the event, as well as drinks the night before, a Gala Dinner on the first evening and the ‘Ale Trail’ – so popular last year.

Underpinning the UK

This year we wanted to reflect that we, as geospatial professionals, are moving closer together to add clarity on how we add value from working together. The theme of GEO Business 2017 is ‘Delivering a Spatially-Enabled Economy’. Geospatial professionals and solutions are intrinsic; they relate to how geospatial professionals add value to the UK by underpinning infrastructure projects, provide trusted, co-ordinated and actionable information for (physical) asset management, or provide control networks in the built and natural environments. So, think underpinning the UK – literally and physically.

It means how we make decisions to achieve better ‘operational’ outcomes; such as using GNSS in autopilots, SatNavs, route optimisation, insurance analytics, flood modelling, security – ‘view sheds’ for CCTV locating, optimisation the provision of healthcare – where to locate a new doctors’ surgery – etc, etc. These enhance efficient and effective decision-making.

A Geospatial Spectrum

I see a ‘Geospatial Spectrum’ as a scale without hard boundaries. I see Geospatial as spectrum of technologies, solutions and skilled professionals. Collectively, we as geospatial professionals, have a lot to offer. GEO Business will be a great opportunity to learn, share and collaborate with others in the ‘Geospatial Spectrum’. More at

This article was published in GIS Professional April 2017

Last updated: 19/11/2019