Last week I attended and spoke at the annual EMEA Google Faculty Summit at the Google offices in Zurich. The event brings together researchers and academic staff for a few days to present their work, talk to Google Engineers and for Google and academia to work together to developer common research interests. Most of the academics present were from a Computer Science departments, some specialising in privacy and policy as well as those interested in software engineering and natural language processing a subject core to Google’s success.
Also core to Google’s success is the exploitation of geospatial technology, yet there were no academics from the GIS community present.
Perhaps this is due to the focus on computer science, but then I have always believed that GIS needs to become closer to CS as the use of geospatial technology becomes more mainstream.
There is I think a need for a debate as to where the focus on GIS research and as a result GIS teaching is directed. Clearly there is a value in training people to apply GIS to applications in other fields of study, but where does the fundamental research geospatial technology take place ? And related to this point, to what extent does the GIS community interact with the broader Computer Science discipline ?
So if you are part of the academic geospatial community, take a look at the Google University resources here, perhaps you can make the event next year ?
Written and submitted from the Geospatial Middle East Conference 2011, Abu Dhabi (24.41N, 54.48w)