As you may already know, a week or so ago I went to the Intergeo event with the amazing guys over at xyHt magazine, after all, I am their European Editor so it kinda made sense. So rather than write my usual “how to” blogs I thought I’d write a little on my findings, or at least my view of what I saw. The stuff that I can’t put in the magazine.
First off lets just discuss how large this is, it was like no event I had been to before, the more I walked, the more I found – over the average day there, I walked over 10 miles each day! It was big! There were over 17,000 visitors and over 570 exhibitors, so spending 5-10 minutes with each would have taken up about 95hrs and that is before the distractions of the drone garden, the conference talks and the press centre.
Now, I had always thought of Intergeo as a “survey” event, as Trimble, Hexagon, Topcon, Reigl and Stonex were always the headline acts but I couldn’t be more wrong. There were 6 halls which were “themed”, by which, the organisers had put Survey in the first hall, GIS/Geospatial in the second, Drones in the third, and so on, there was even a Smart Cities hall, there was something for everyone. I honestly felt like a kid in a candy store, all the usual faces were there, Esri, Blue Marble, Bentley but interestingly others that you don’t normally get to meet at the UK events, like OSGEO, Certainty3D, GIS Cloud, Baufachliche Richtlinien Vermessung amongst some. In short, I was taken aback!
I was at the event to work, so obviously went around all different geospatial factions finding the latest news and stories (follow xyHT for more on those!) and the thing that stood out to me was the amount of “cross faction” work. Although I have worked with surveyors and survey data in the past, even used some of the survey software (10yrs ago) I wasn’t aware of how advanced the survey software was now, not just for applying corrections but creating whole workflows to generate 3D data or push data straight into Esri, Cesium and CityGML formats. That said there appeared to be a lot of GIS doing the same, integrating more with survey, take for example Global Mapper, who demonstrated tools to inject your RGB raster values straight into your LiDAR or Esri who are working with Reigl to provide web based visualisation tools for survey and there were many more I could discuss.
The point of this blog is to say that if you ever wondered whether Intergeo was worth your while, I can confirm that it is a HUGE YES!…even if GIS is “just a generalisation of survey data” (said by a top survey company Director at Intergeo)