International Conference and Exhibition on Geographic Information
7-11 SEPTEMBER 1998

Dawn Wright, member of the GIS PLANET International Committee


GIS PLANET '98 was an opportunity to meet with the international Geographic Information (GI) community, to share experiences with people from all over the world, and to learn and participate in a series of events structured around a global perspective. It was one week entirely devoted to the state of the art and to discussion of future trends of GI related technologies within the framework of the latest developments for a large variety of applications.


1998 is THE year to visit Lisbon. From May 22nd to September 30th, the City hosted the last World Exhibition of the 20th Century, EXPO 98, where more than 130 countries were represented and 12 million visitors attended. Free entrance was included with registration.


Rediscovering the World Through GIS stressed new possibilities for exploring the world using recent Internet technologies, inspired by the 500-year celebration of Portuguese discoveries that brought major advances to modern cartography and global navigation.


Discussion of research concepts as a support for the development of a geographic information society; consideration of the different perspectives of academy, industry, government, users and citizens, as a contribution for the construction of a global sustainable world.


USIG, the Portuguese GIS Users Association was the organisation responsible for the conference, offering a set of international level events, the quality of which was guaranteed by an international committee composed of leading GIS experts from all over the world.


GIS PLANET '98 was composed of a large set of events: Scientific Conference, Technical workshops, Advanced workshops, User group meetings, Thematic seminars, GI XXI meeting, Industry meetings and Technical tours.


The topics addressed included all the relevant streams for disseminating original research and experience in areas related to global issues, grouped into three main areas: Global thematic, Technological and Application-oriented.


The exhibition area with more than 2000 sq. m. and 120 slots of 9 sq. m. was an opportunity to see recent developments in hardware, software, communications and applications. Special areas for government organisations and Internet access will be available. Keynote speaker was Bill Gates.


A network of international organisations contributed special sessions and promotions of GIS PLANET 98 all over the world. UDMS, EGIS, AM/FM International, ESRI, Intergraph, URISA, GIS Brazil, GISIG, AURISA and EUROGI were among the organizations and companies committed to the Conference.


The world of GIS has expanded dramatically in the last two decades. This is due in part to the availability of GIS software, decreasing costs of hardware, the availability of digital geospatial data, and the exponential growth in the Internet. These factors have interacted in positive ways to bring the world of geographic analysis to many disciplines and many nations.

The Internet has been growing exponentially over the last several years. The GIS world quickly realized that its rich medium and vast user base holds the potential to improve system interoperability, providing better means for the dissemination and sharing of geoinformation and applications.

It is also seen as the basic technological framework for global studies in areas as diverse as Bio-Diversity or Climate Change, and the basic medium for sharing data between agencies and individuals working in GIS across the entire range of its applications.


The 1st GIS PLANET `98 Conference was a forum for sharing, disseminating, and integrating original research and experience in the application of GIS and Internet technologies to issues of concern throughout the world. The topics addressed include all areas relevant to global sustainability and quality-of-life improvement.


The official language of the conference was English.


Travessa Estevao Pinto
P - 1070

Tel: +351.1 387-1573
Fax: +351.1 387-2140

Last updated: September 13, 1998