Home > AGI Scotland, Events > AGI-S Annual Event – A Huge Success

AGI-S Annual Event – A Huge Success

mainhallWe were delighted to welcome so many of you to our annual event on 18 March at Glasgow City Chambers. Forming part of the Geo:The Big 5 AGI event series, the huge turnout was a fantastic start to the AGI 25th anniversary celebrations.

Over 170 registered delegates (joined in the afternoon by 20 Higher Geography students from Douglas Academy) made for a busy day with plenty of opportunities for both catching up with old friends and establishing new contacts.

We are thankful for the exceptional level of support from Glasgow City Council in hosting us this year in such a stunning venue. The event was opened by Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council.  Glasgow is of course is the Future Cities demonstrator project for the UK. Councillor Matheson complemented the AGI on looking good at 25 and reflected on the changes in technology and our industry over that period. He outlined the opportunities that geographic information has to enable us to see the world differently and the key role that it has in supporting policy and changing the lives of citizens.


Andrew Collinge of the Greater London Authority, provided the morning plenary session, setting the Future Cities theme of the day. The overview of the work in London, the UK Future Cities Incubator, and specifically the role of geographical information was an excellent introduction into one of the key themes of the day.

A multi-stream parallel programme was presented by speakers from both Scotland and across the UK.  A Future Cities stream demonstrated the huge opportunities that geospatial has within this arena. Expertly chaired by Graham Colclough of the Future Cities Protocol, the stream began with specific examples of work from the Glasgow Future Cities project. In the afternoon, the topic continued but with a subtle change to look at the wider work around Future Cities across the UK and internationally.

An additional parallel session running during the day (chaired by Bruce Gittings and Cameron Easton) provided the opportunity for industry professionals to share their best practice examples of geospatial applications. It really was an example of some real innovation – from managing a full scale on the ground woodland survey over 6 years, to collaborative procurement of Open Source technology by Local Authorities for efficiency savings and notably the use of GI for delivery of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.


Based on interest at last year’s event on more practical sessions, we programmed two “hands-on” sessions this year. The workshops were both fully booked, again proving popular with our members. The QGIS taster workshop was provided by thinkWhere. Software was provided on USB and delegates used their own laptops to learn the basics of this Open Source desktop tool. Ordnance Survey provided our afternoon workshop, based on their Open Data products. This was an excellent opportunity to learn about how to get started quickly using geospatial data and software for free.

In the afternoon our recent work collaborating with the Royal Scottish Geographic Society enabled us to welcome Douglas Academy to the event. The Higher geography students had their own programme for the day, which had been organised by AGI Scotland Member Val Marlowe. We will be talking about this further in a future post.


RSGS President Professor Iain Stewart closed the formal proceedings for the day, with an inspiring presentation about the communication of Future Cities. This picked up on a theme laid out early in the day by Councillor Matheson, who made the point that in the Smart City technology is a key enabler, but success is reliant on people. Professor Stewart set out the way in which we can communicate to a non-technical audience, through relating our work to key areas of interest to our audience. He also emphasised the way in which the past lives of cities plays a pivotal role in shaping and developing our Future Cities.

The day concluded with some extensive networking in the Counting House, sponsored by Kemeling Consulting, and later for those who were still buzzing with enthusiasm from the day, over dinner.

We are really proud to have been able to stage this level of nationally significant debate at our AGI Scotland Event in Glasgow and the feedback we have had is tremendous. The event would not have been made possible without some incredible support. The AGI Scotland committee would specifically like to thank our event sponsors (ESRI UK, Ordnance Survey, Landmark UK, thinkWhere & Kemeling Consulting), Glasgow City Council (specifically Iain Langlands) and the AGI Events Action Working Group (chaired by Rollo Home) and AGI Team. We would also like to thank all of the speakers who provided such excellent content and of course our wider membership who attended and supported the event.

We are processing audio and presentations from the event and this will be made available online as soon as we can for our members. An overview of activity on Twitter from the day is available.

The next Geo:The Big 5 event is in Belfast on 13 May with a focus on Open Geospatial. AGI Scotland events continue with our regular EEO seminar series.

Categories: AGI Scotland, Events
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