PE&RS July 2016 Public - page 481

July 2016
President’s Address
successful migration from the old to the new system was a
remarkable feat and the new membership database and web
portal comprise an excellent and reliable structure to support
a wide variety of services, including blogging capabilities for
popular columns, such as Mapping Matters. We know who our
members are, we can contact them and we can implore lapsed
members to rejoin!
is a unique journal, as it combines regular columns
and newsletter material with a peer-reviewed component. As
part of the restructuring process, an online paper management
system will be introduced by the new Editor-in-Chief, Dr.
Alper Yilmaz. The journal is a vital part of ASPRS with an
outstanding history and it is critical to maintain its relevance
to the membership as well as improving its standing in the
very competitive domain of scholarly publication.
What is still in the works? Most of the ASPRS organization
has been streamlined with the elimination of the Executive
Committee along with numerous committees, the redefinition
of the Board of Directors as a smaller, more agile body, and
the creation of several Councils to represent various segments
of the Society. The formation of the Councils is of high
importance and should be finalized by the time this paper
is published. Less visible to members, but the restructuring
impacted most of the committees; for example, the ASPRS
awards and scholarships program has been streamlined. In
addition, the ASPRS Certification, a major member benefit,
is being upgraded and UAS certifications will be rolled out in
2017, just as the recently introduced LiDAR certifications will
be gaining traction.
Thus our Society, with its modernized structure and
state-of-the-art IT infrastructure, provides the basis to
strengthen our professional standing, measured in terms of
better benefits to people, including individual and corporate
members, and support to the geospatial discipline and
the entire Nation at large. How much ASPRS can develop,
however, depends on two things. Firstly, we, the members,
must lead the way in exploiting of the new structure. Our
active contribution is essential to strengthen and grow our
Society in both size and relevance. A recent good example is
the development of the “ASPRS Positional Accuracy Standards
for Digital Geospatial Data”,
, March 2015. Another
is the upcoming publication of the 4
edition of the
of Remote Sensing
, in an ambitious, all-electronic form.
Secondly, the complex, evolving environment in which ASPRS
exists has a far greater impact than in the past. Our Society
no longer drives the technological developments, rather,
we use them to exploit the geospatial data and information
from innumerable sensors. New platforms and miniaturized
sensors are continually introduced, and UAS and micro/nano
satellites are the hottest topics today. Both the hardware and
the software tools increasingly come from and are shared by
other disciplines and societies. For example, our legendary
bundle block adjustment method is no longer unique to us,
as implementations are now available from multiple sources
outside our community. The creation and processing of
photogrammetrically derived point clouds is an example
of using complex software tools developed mainly outside
our discipline. Do these developments present concerns for
ASPRS? Not necessarily, as the proper error characterization
of the geospatial data is eithermissing or not rigorously treated
in these other disciplines. In addition, ASPRS’s enormous,
collective expertise of QA/QC processes for geospatial data,
refined throughout the Society’s life, makes us indispensable
for many industries and governments. Opinions differ and it
is difficult to predict even mid-term developments, yet some
experts forecast that the increasing use of geospatial data will
require more accurate performance characterization in many
application fields, including indoor mapping, location-based
services, mobile mapping technologies and UAS platforms.
Imaging is still rapidly expanding and sensors are deployed
in exponential numbers on mobile and static platforms of
all sorts. As one of the imaging societies, it is our Society’s
responsibility to advance geospatial data acquisition with
all the supporting processing and information extraction,
and also to respond appropriately to demands arising from
technological developments.
In summary, ASPRS is at a major crossroad where the
restructured organization, streamlined IT infrastructure
and new management provide the potential for a new path
to revitalize our Society and strengthen the wider geospatial
community. To make this happen, however, all of us should
contribute, and I cannot emphasize enough the importance
of our members and their remarkable energy and creativity.
The changes introduced in the past few years are due to
the devotion of people who served in a variety of positions,
including elected officers, members of the Board of Directors,
headquarters stuff and many others: I would like to thank all
of them for their excellent service to our Society.
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