Promising Agenda for 2014 - 12/01/2014

The year ahead offers better opportunities than we’ve had since the financial crash of 2008. But it does need members to engage in events and in their journal. Tell us how we can improve and how you can contribute to the editorial agenda.

Welcome to 2014, a year for which much is promised. The world economy is showing signs of improvement, led by the US. While here in the UK the coalition government has persuaded itself and most of the media that our economy is improving. We shall see. Closer to surveying and Geomatics we have a new event to look forward to at the end of May in London. GEO Business could be a real game-changer for our business but it requires the engagement of individuals as well as the professional and other organisations that operate across the geospatial sector. More details at for the offshore sector there is Oceanology to look forward to in March ( - plenty of opportunities there.

Two topics are bound to run through GW this year: BIM and unmanned aerial systems (UAS). Both are in this issue, with BIM especially making a strong presence through Mollenhauer’s work at the Beverley Hills Center (page 12). For UAS (aka UAVs) we may yet have to bow to popular media and call them drones so our clients know what we’re talking about.

Reducing the size of sensors is helping grow the market for UAS. We have already seen a multi-copter with a Faro scanner aboard and now the development by Cubert of a light-weight hyperspectral sensor is a sign of opportunities to come in the agricultural and land management sectors (page 20).

In early December last year came the sad news that author Andro Linklater had died, just as his latest book was published in the US. Andro’s previous book on Measuring America was a bestseller, explaining lucidly the connection between the emergence of a modern economy and standards of measurement. His latest work, Owning the Earth, focuses on how individual land ownership has transformed economies over the last quarter millennia, while economies that have kept communal or monarchical systems have languished. We shall bring you a review in the next issue of GW.

Finally, here are some of the themes we want to follow over the coming year in GW. Can you contribute with an article? Any style is welcome – a short news story, a brief case study or a longer paper:

  • GIS & Geomatics: The role of geomatics in GIS. Perhaps Jack Dangermond’s lecture on GIS & Web Cartography (page 18) could be a starting point.
  • Measured Building Surveys, BIM and Facility Management: This is bound to be a recurrent topic during the year and we shall try to keep you informed on the progress of RICS’s own BIM. But there is much more to talk about and to share best practice. Will cheaper scanners be a trigger for as-built BIMs?
  • EDM & Optics vs. Digital Cameras: This is an opportunity to look at some of the latest data capture tools that rely on photogrammetric solutions as well as the integration of scanning technology in total stations.
  • Maps, Land Registration and Surveys: Can they be reconciled? This is a thorny topic for many practical field surveyors. Your views please.
  • Measuring and Monitoring the Seabed: New tools for new datasets - time to get wet.
  • Laser Scanners: Is there anything they can’t do? Tell us about your apps and what works and what pushes the envelope just a bit too far.
  • Data: Where to keep it? On your desktop? In your pocket? Or in the cloud? Views on managing and keeping data secure please.
  • Colliding Worlds: Remaining professional in a privatised world where profit, sales targets and PR are the drivers.
  • GIS and Mapping in Geopolitics: Mapping is often the first resource needed in a time of crisis, whether by the military, NGOs or the media. But do out-of-date or poorly scaled maps influence opinion and critical decision making?


This article was published in Geomatics World January/February 2014

Last updated: 17/01/2021