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GIS pros exchange ideas at geospatial conference January 23, 2009

Posted by Bahadir Sahin in English, Haber (News).
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The third annual East Texas Geospatial Conference kicked off Wednesday with a host of workshops, vendor exhibits and a keynote address.

Held inside The Fredonia convention center, the conference enabled users of GIS (geographic information systems) software to network and exchange ideas on the most current applications and techniques, said Charles Aston, event coordinator and geospatial technician for the Columbia Regional Geospatial Service Center, the event’s sponsor.

Aston said the conference, which Wednesday attracted GIS professionals from as far as St. Petersburg, Russia, as well as a host of local officials, has grown steadily in the last few years, and is expected to only get bigger as the technology associated with it continues to grow.

“The technology has grown in such a way that it’s more versatile, more stable and more easily transmittable from point to point,” Aston said, noting that processor speeds that were once 400 MHz have now increased to 2 GHz.

The professionals attended several different technical workshops on various GIS systems, and also heard a keynote address following lunch with U.S. Geological Survey Texas Water Science Lab director Robert Joseph, who gave real-world examples of how the technology is used.

Detailing how his staff utilizes GIS systems to conserve water, Joseph explained that the U.S. Geological Survey works closely with a number of universities on issues incorporated into the federal organization’s four main disciplines — water resource, geology, geography and biology.

“We’re in existence to really understand the earth sciences, and for interdisciplinary research monitoring activities associated with geology, biology and water,” he told the large group gathered in the convention center.

The conference continues today with additional technical workshops and a keynote address from Galveston Public Information Officer Mary Jo Naschke on the challenges her city faced during the Hurricane Ike response. The conference concludes Friday.

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