Wednesday, 22 August 2012

GIS special interest group report

This year’s GIS SIG at the Symposium discussed the use of GIS in the charity and not-for-profit sector.  Map Action, Birdlife, The RNLI and Global Map Aid each spent 30 minutes discussing their work and how GIS is helping to create business insight. 

GIS is helping to save and conserve lives, both human and animal around the world on both land and at sea.  With the current economic unrest donations to charitable organisations are falling.  Every pound spent is increasingly important.  GIS analysis combined with strong cartographic outputs enables charities to better understand their operational environment and how to focus spend appropriately. Using GIS charities are able to make better informed decisions on where to invest donations in the most appropriate way and importantly justify their activities to the communities which support them. 

I’d like to thank Ming Lee from MapAction, Mark Balman of Birdlife, Dan Ryan from RNLI and Doug Eamer from Global Map Aid for taking the time to speak at the SIG.  The volume of questions at the end of the presentations highlighted another successful session.

If any members of the society would like to suggest topics for future GIS SIGs or would like to present please drop Rob Sharpe a line at: 
Rob Sharpe
note from author:
The BCS would also like to congratulate Ming Lee from MapAction on his Olympic Torch bearing duty in London in the final stages of the relay where he handed the flame over to Prince Harry after being invited to fly the flag for volunteering.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

BCS Presidents Report July/August

Dear Members
I thought it would be a good idea to have one report that covered both July and August as, unsurprisingly, we only have one event in August which is the Map Curators meeting in Leeds, 29-30 August. So Map Curators if you haven’t signed up already please do so.

On 13 July I was invited to the British Library for the launch of the Earth Platinum Atlas produced by Millennium House in Australia. It is the largest atlas in the world and just 31 copies will be produced. If you’d like to take a look (or buy one for $1000,000?) check out some images.

On 19 July there was a UK GEOForum meeting in London. The Forum has representatives from 14 associations/societies in geography and mapping industries and is an excellent group facilitating discussions of matters of the moment within the industry and co-operative ventures with organisations like the AGI, RGS and GA.
Indeed, there was a Better Mapping II event in London on 26 July which was organised in co-operation with the AGI and kindly hosted by our ‘initialsakes’, the British Computer Society. No problem with attendees, even just the day before the Olympic Opening Ceremony in London, with all 45 places filled. My thanks must go to our speakers: Peter Jones, Mary Spence, and Clare Seldon. Clare works for Steer Davies Gleave who are very supportive of these events – thank you too.

So after the Map Curators meeting at the end of August, we have a Council meeting on 6 September in London, and we hope to have a stand at the AGI Conference, 19-20 September at The East Midlands Conference Centre in Nottingham.
Then we have our first 2 day Restless Earth Schools Workshop in Penarth, 26-27 September. Looking further ahead still and to give you a ‘heads-up’, the GIS SIG will meet in London on 24 October at our ‘initialsakes’ offices and our AGM/Lecture/Dinner event will be at the RAF Club on 31 October starting at 1700.

Finally, on a personal note, some of you will be aware that I retired from Esri on 30 June after 15 years. I spent my first 5 years working for Esri UK and the remainder for Esri Inc in Redlands. You can’t be President of an organisation such as BCS without the full support of your employer and Esri in Redlands couldn’t have been more helpful. Closer to home, Esri UK are Corporate Members of BCS and sponsors of our Symposium so thank you too.

Let’s hope we have some more sunshine and we can all enjoy the August break.
Best Wishes

Peter Jolly
President of The British Cartographic Society

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