Chryssy Potsiou, Chair of FIG Commission 3 Attends the 2nd GIS National Congress in Turkey

Izmir, Turkey, 2-6 November 2009

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President Ali Fahri Özten making his welcome address at the opening ceremony.

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Chryssy Potsiou together with the President of the Chamber of Surveying Engineers of Turkey, Ali Fahri Özten.

The 2nd Turkish GIS Congress "GIS 2009" was organized by the Turkish Chamber of Engineers and Architects (TMMOB) in İzmir, Turkey, 2-6 November 2009. The theme of the congress was “NSDI and working cooperatively for a livable future”. About one thousand Turkish participants from various surveying disciplines attended the Congress - among these 458 delegates, 175 students, and 380 other guests.

Opening addresses were given by several key persons: the Chairs of the executive committee of the Congress, TMMOB and HKMO, the Congress Director Hüseyin Ülkü, the Vice Director of the Turkish Land Registry and Cadastre, the Vice Presidents of İzmir Municipality and İzmir Local Government, the Rector of İstanbul Technical University Prof. Muhammed Sahin, the President of the İzmir and Konak Municipality, and the General Director of State Ports and Airports (DLH). The foreign keynote speakers of the congress were Prof. Werner Kuhn from the Institute for Geoinformatics, University of Muenster, and Dr. Chryssy A. Potsiou, FIG Commission 3 Chair from the School for Rural and Surveying Engineering, National Technical University of Athens, Greece. The title of her presentation was “Spatial Data Infrastructures in Support of Land Governance and Natural Disaster Prevention and Management - The FIG Commission 3 Activity”.

The General President of the Chamber of Surveying Engineers of Turkey Ali Fahri Özten, the FIG Commission 3 delegate Prof. Çetin Cömert, Dr. Orhan Ercan and Fazli Yasar Çetintas organised the visit of Dr. Potsiou who participated in the Congress and represented the FIG Council. The organisation of this large event was excellent and the Turkish hospitality was incomparable. The technical exhibition, the social events, like the opening cocktail party, the dinners and the excursion to one of the most famous historic sites in Turkey, Ephesus, were really impressive.

FIG Commission 3 delegate Prof. Çetin Cömert reported on the congress:  There were 12 parallel technical sessions - each having four oral presentations; 5 panels and 1 forum. There were also poster presentations. A technical exhibition of “Geographical Information Technologies” was also open during the Congress.

During the first day of the Congress a tutorial was organized to provide GIS fundamental education for professionals from various disciplines mostly from the state agencies. Around 150 people attended the tutorial program. Educators were the members of the GIS technical commission of the Turkish Chamber of Surveying Engineers (HKMO).

One of the main goals of the Congress was to identify the issues of “real world GIS applications” and specifically the problems caused by the lack of interoperability among different parties. The oral and poster presentations showed that the projects carried out by state Turkish agencies, municipalities, and the private sector were various GIS applications concerning urban infrastructure, watershed management, decision support systems, environmental resources management, land resources management, spatial data infrastructures, 3D city models, Web 2.0, cartography, open source software development, municipality services, remote sensing and GIS integration.

The panels and the final NSDI forum showed that interoperability is largely lacking in the country. There is an urgent need to initiate an NSDI of Turkey. The need for establishing SDIs at local levels is also urgent. It has also been demonstrated that the transformations of the major institutions like General Command of Mapping acting as the national mapping agency and Land Registry and Cadastre of Turkey are major tasks. The reorganization of many State agencies is also necessary if NSDI is to be built and maintained. In conclusion, NSDI in Turkey still has a long way to go before it achieves its goal. A stronger government will is required. The legal basis of NSDI in Turkey is in the “e-Turkey action plan”, which has been set aside by the government.

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At the Gala Dinner.
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The ancient Theatre.
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Cocktails at the end of the Congress.

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Chryssy Potsiou and Professor Babis Ioannidis.


15 December 2009