Once again, Ordnance Survey hosted the conference and an increasing number of nations came together to meet at St John’s College, Cambridge. Dr Vanessa Lawrence CB, Director General and Chief Executive of Ordnance Survey, acknowledged that: ‘as national mapping and cadastral agencies, each of us has the significant responsibility to enhance the reputation of geographic information and to act as a catalyst for its innovative use, both in our own nations and across the world. The work that we do increasingly supports public administration, commerce, academia and leisure, delivering countless benefits to populations across the globe.’

The 2009 conference went straight to the heart of the global economic situation and addressed how mapping ­and the improvement of mapping management ­could contribute to solving its problems. Keynote speeches were presented by Professor Jacqueline McGlade, Executive Director of the European Environment Agency and Stuart Haynes OBE, Director of the Defence Geographic Centre. Vanessa also welcomed Željko Bačić, Director General of the State Geodetic Administration of Croatia, who discussed the role of mapping within countries going through transition; and Colin McDonald, Chief Executive of Land Information New Zealand, who helped to facilitate workshop sessions which looked at the impact of the economic downturn.

As always, there was the chance to meet and network with representatives from countries all around the world, each with different economic experiences to share. These opportunities were facilitated by the social events outside of the main conference schedule, and took place in the notable historic city of Winchester.