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College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Geospatial Conference Highlights Success of Technology

February 13, 2003

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Learning to use a variety of geospatial technologies and successfully applying them to agriculture and natural resources land use planning and management will be the key focus of an in-depth Ohio geospatial technology conference — the first program of its nature to be held in the United States. The Ohio Geospatial Technology Conference for Agriculture and Nature Resource Applications will be held March 24-26 at the Holiday Inn Worthington Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio. Pre-registration, due by March 10, is $130. After March 10, registration will be $150. Nathan Watermeier, an Ohio State University Extension Technology Program Leader and conference chair, said the purpose of the conference is to pull together people in Ohio who have used geospatial technologies and have showed them to be successful in agricultural and natural resource applications. Geospatial technology involves using such tools as GPS, geographic information systems (GIS), remote sensing, digital data and computer software to help manage agriculture lands, wetlands, forests, rural/urban interfacing and other land use issues. “We held an introductory workshop on remote sensing last year and had 95 people show up,” said Watermeier. “We received enough positive feedback with that one workshop in one day to tell us that we needed to continue providing information on geospatial technologies. With this conference, there are a variety of features that make it unique.” The Ohio Geospatial Technology Conference will start off with a keynote address from Fred Limp, director for the Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies (CAST) from the University of Arkansas. Limp will share his vision and experiences with the group on geospatial applications around the world. An evening banquet is also planned with another keynote presentation by Kathryn Sullivan, COSI President and CEO, and a former NASA astronaut who will share her experiences on mapping and exploring Earth both in the depths of the ocean and from space. The conference boasts a comprehensive list of topics including discussions on the use of geospatial technologies on homeland security, pre-conference workshops on remote sensing and geographic information systems, an interactive trade show and poster session, 10 different mini-workshops that teach participants how to apply what they learned, a visual image and design competition and a free CD-ROM of the conference proceedings. In all, more than 24 presentations will highlight the conference involving soil mapping, land-use and watershed management, water quality, forestry, aquatic life, wetlands, riparians, coastal management, vegetation, ecological habitats and fish and wildlife. Sponsors for the geospatial conference include Ohio State University Geospatial Program for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Ohio State College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Ohio State School of Natural Resources, Ohio State Extension, All Ohio Chapter of Soil and Water Conservation Society, Ohio Geographically Referenced Information Program, Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI), Ohio NASA Space Grant Consortium, Ohio Agricultural Technologies Association, The Ohio State University Watershed Academy and several other Ohio universities, state and federal agencies and industry partners. For more information on the conference contact Nathan Watermeier at (614) 688-3442 or, log on to

Candace Pollock
Nathan Watermeier