AGI Celebrates ‘Awesome’ GeoCom 2022

The Association for Geographic Information celebrated the success of its first in person annual conference in three years. Held at the Royal Geographical Society with IBG headquarters in London, GeoCom 2022 attracted more than 260 registered delegates. Under the theme ‘Sustainability in a Changing World’ the agenda was packed with first-class speakers from government and commerce and was described by one attendee as a ‘Netflix binge for geo-nerds’.

“It was amazing to come together again as a geo-community and we appreciate the support of our speakers, sponsors and delegates who all contributed to making GeoCom 2022 the indisputable success that it was,” commented Adam Burke, Chair of the Association for Geographic Information. “Feedback so far has been incredible with words like ‘buzzing’, ‘excellent’, ‘refreshing’, ‘energy’ and ‘awesome’ all featuring highly.

“These reactions are hugely encouraging and the AGI Council are taking them onboard and using them to inform a packed calendar of future in person events, webinars and other community outreach activities that will be published shortly.”

Held on the 11th October, GeoCom 2022 featured a variety of presentations, panel discussions and audience interactions. Speakers including Tom Harris of Deloitte, Steve Ramage of the Group on Earth Observation, Claire Pini and James Hemingway from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) challenged and stunned delegates asking them to consider the juxtaposition of ‘dirty’ mining versus the need for ‘clean’ metals and the admittance that the $80 billion Green Climate Fund has no mandate for earth observation data.

Later in the day Hendy Odbert of the Met Office asked the audience to consider the vulnerabilities of new types of transport, such as Autonomous Vehicles, whilst Professor Christopher Jackson of Jacobs declared that ‘everyone needs a geoscientist for a friend’.

The first of two panel discussions, led by start-up accelerator programme Geovation, explored the topic of vulnerability with Christopher Jackson of Advanced Infrastructure showcasing a digital twin of the UK energy system and Chris Hildray of Proxy Address revealing how donated addresses are giving UK homeless a hand-up rather than a hand-out.

Members of the AGI Early Careers Network then went on to discuss influences on career choices other than pay and presented the initial results of a survey into the values of geospatial and geography professionals. Concluding that a supportive, inclusive and exciting work environment is often more important than just salary this was an interesting take-away for the audience. It also provided guidance for business leaders keen to maintain sustainable business growth within the geoinformation sector.

GeoCom also drew support from some of the leading names from the geospatial sector with Platinum Sponsors Ordnance Survey and Esri UK both taking to the stage whilst Gold Sponsors, Cadline, CARTO, Cadcorp, Geoplace, Geospatial Commission and Verisk, were available to network with delegates during breakout and refreshment sessions.