The welcome reception of first Conference of the new millennium was hosted by the Indian National School of Design, who provided an informative, educational and inspiring exhibition which highlighted the mapping of the subcontinant. The displays combined the latest technological developments with the Survey of India’s archives, to recreate the era and capture the excitement generated by the survey. The exhibition also tracked the effect of the acheivement on the existing world view and subsequent development of the sciences. The display was considered to be outstanding, complete with an enormous model elephant!

The theme of Cambridge Conference 2003 focussed on: National mapping – shaping the future, with the intention to encourage a bold vision for mapping information in the 21st century. Professor Martien Molenaar set the tone in his keynote address, which considered the role of geographic data as society and technology develops. Subsequent sessions ranged widely across contemporary issues, including the funding of national mapping organisations and global geospatial business.

Professor Gordon Conway, President of the Rockefeller Foundation, was the Hotine lecture for the Conference. Gordon continued the forward-looking theme with a discussion of how GIS can help in the fight against poverty and disease.

Away from the formal proceedings, delegates looked forward to meeting old friends and making new contacts whilst enjoying the unique historic setting of St John’s College, Cambridge. After leaving Cambridge, delegates could choose to visit Ordnance Survey head office in Southampton, The Royal Geographical Society and a range of London-based public sector organisations that use mapping data as an integral part of their work.