GI_Forum 2015 – Geospatial minds for society

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GI_Forum 2015, the 9th annual conference along with its sister conference, AGIT, organized by the Interfaculty Department of Geoinformatics – Z_GIS was held at the University of Salzburg, Austria. More than 1000 participants from 45 countries benefited from a variety of topics covered across 83 technical sessions and 20 workshops linking into the conference slogan of developing Geospatial Minds for Society. To name just a few, Earth Observation for Humanitarian Operation was discussed for a full day, as has been GIS applications for Public Health, Mobility and Education. As Keynote Speaker Sarah Bednarz, current president of the AAG, pointed out: “It is the rich blend of various people and experiences which makes the GI_Forum a very productive and inspiring conference.”

The keynotes and invited speeches focused on interrelated themes of big data, open data and standards, smart cities, internet of things, education for spatial thinking and spatial citizenship. Keynotes included Ingo Simonis (Director, Interoperability Programs and Science, OGC), Manfred Hauswirth (Professor, TU Berlin), Sarah and Robert Bednarz (Texas A & M University), and Inga Gryl (University of Duisburg-Essen) and Thomas Jekel (University of Salzburg). Keynote speakers were also available at the young researchers corner for Bachelor, MSc and PhD students for more intimate discussions related to research practice and projects, career planning and opportunities for academic exchange in line with the conference policy of providing special care for young researchers.

At the conference, the best poster and best student paper (Laura Knoth, Azmat Arif, Johanna Schmitt (University of Salzburg): “Salzburg Residential Mobility Model”) presented during the event were awarded. In house social events, as well as the AGIT EXPO provided a full overview of both GIScience and GI-industry and led to the development of new and dissemination of current R&D initiatives.