It is my great pleasure to introduce Professor Georg Gartner as our GeoAmbassador. It is indeed a honour for us to have an eminent colleague and a visionary who helped us to create “Geo for All” as our first GeoAmbassodor.
Georg Gartner is a Full Professor for Cartography at the Vienna University of Technology. He holds graduate qualifications in Geography and Cartography from the University of Vienna and received his Ph.D. and his Habilitation from the Vienna University of Technology. He was awarded a Fulbright grant to the USA and several research visiting fellowships. He was Dean for Academic Affairs for Geodesy and Geoinformation at Vienna University of Technology. He is Editor of the Book Series “Lecture Notes on Geoinformation and Cartography” by Springer and Editor of the “Journal on LBS” by Taylor & Francis. He serves currently as Past President of the International Cartographic Association.
Fig 1 – Prof. Georg Gartner (Georg is a true cartographer in every sense. He even has map background in his profile photo!)
Georg is a true global citizen who has travelled around the world working for expanding opportunities for geospatial education for all. Georg has been a mentor and great colleague for me at the International Cartographic Association (ICA). Sometimes random meetings help shape future events and my first meeting with Georg was by sheer coincidence as I sat next to him for lunch during AutoCarto conference around 8 years back in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, USA. At that time Georg was the Chair of the ICA Commission on Maps and the Internet and I introduced myself and within few minutes we were discussing ideas for expanding research collaborations and organise Location Based Services conference in Nottingham! Georg is the founder of LBS conference series which was key to help establish LBS research and journals. His vision for establishing LBS research has always inspired me. His humility and helpfulness are great qualities that I greatly admire.
It was thanks to the support and vision of Georg Gartner and Arnulf Christl (OSGeo President at that time) which was key in helping bringing together like minded communities on the bigger vision of joining efforts for enabling geospatial education and opportunities for all for helping create a better world. The International Cartographic Association and the Open Source Geospatial Foundation signed an MoU in 2011 (Fig 2) on the goal of developing global collaboration opportunities for academia, industry and government organizations in open source geospatial software and data . This MoU was updated and renewed in July 2015 . In 2015, International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS) joined GeoforAll (Fig 3).
Fig 2- Prof. Georg Gartner and Arnulf Christl shake hands after signing the MoU at Intergeo 2011 in Germany
Fig 3 – Three presidents at AfricaGEO 2015 in Cape Town .Prof. Georg Gartner (International Cartographic Association), Jeff McKenna (Open Source Geospatial Foundation) and Prof. Chen Jun (International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing )
We are proud to honour Georg as our inaugural GeoAmbassodor and we are extremely grateful for his contributions to Geo for All. We wish Georg and his wonderful family all the very best for the future. We are truly grateful for Georg for his strong support and guidance over the years . Georg also serves on the advisory board of Geo for All and we look forward to his guidance for the future.