InterGeo: The Worldwide GIS Showcase

September 25, 2014  - By

Did you know the largest GIS conference in the world is held in Germany every year? Last October, more than 16,000 geospatial geeks traveled to Germany to attend the InterGeo Conference. In just a few short weeks, Geospatial Solutions’ staff will travel to Berlin and mix it up with the world’s leading geogeeks. If you want to see the latest and greatest GIS technology, both hardware and software, it is the best show in the world, bar none.

The second largest GIS conference in the world is the Esri International User Conference. It’s a great conference, with one major caveat; it’s a user conference for Esri users. Competitors and perceived competitors are not invited.

InterGeo is open to any company that can afford an exhibit booth. That’s one major difference. The other major difference is that there are very few technical sessions. That means all 16,000+ attendees are wandering around the exhibits. The exhibit aisles are packed with people, all the time for all three days, and the energy is fantastic.

The InterGeo conference is an eye-opener for North Americans who attend for the first time. This is because they will see a much wider variety of brands than they are exposed to in North America and, in many cases, they will see products with lower price points. It’s all about marketing. The African, Asian and European markets won’t pay as much for products as North Americans will, and seeing how 83% of the InterGeo attendees are from Europe, you can imagine how the products are marketed. Only 2.4% of the 2013 attendees were from North America. Following is a map illustrating where last year’s attendees traveled from:

INTERGEO 2013 Attendance

InterGeo 2013 attendance.

Not only are there commercial exhibits, but also technology displays such as this mapping machine from the 19th century that was displayed during the 2012 InterGeo Conference.


At this year’s show, we expect to see a lot of UAVs. Last year, there were 25 exhibits showing UAVs. This year, I expect that number to double as new UAVs are being introduced almost weekly and, unlike in the U.S., UAVs are legal to fly in many countries of the world.

I also expect to see a wider variety of RTK GNSS receivers, at more competitive prices than last year.

Stay tuned to Geospatial Solutions and GPS World magazine staff as we descend into Berlin in a couple of weeks. Expect lots of photos, video recordings and write-ups of the event. Remember to follow me on Twitter for real-time news and photos.

This article is tagged with and posted in GSS Monthly, Mapping, Opinions

About the Author: Eric Gakstatter

Eric Gakstatter has been involved in the GPS/GNSS industry for more than 20 years. For 10 years, he held several product management positions in the GPS/GNSS industry, managing the development of several medium- and high-precision GNSS products along with associated data-collection and post-processing software. Since 2000, he's been a power user of GPS/GNSS technology as well as consulted with capital management companies; federal, state and local government agencies; and private companies on the application and/or development of GPS technology. Since 2006, he's been a contributor to GPS World magazine, serving as editor of the monthly Survey Scene newsletter until 2015, and as editor of Geospatial Solutions monthly newsletter for GPS World's sister site Geospatial Solutions, which focuses on GIS and geospatial technologies.

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