Experience Report on Attending A Conference

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Engineering & IT
Spatial Information Management

Nurperi Nuralieva shares her experience attending the GIS conference in Central Asia (GISCA-2018): "The conference focused on “Geoinformatics for Regional Development“ in the Region of Central Asia. Given that my Master thesis research is about the application of GIS in tourism in Central Asia, attending this conference was a great opportunity for me in different ways. (a) I presented my thesis research work and received valuable feedback, which has already greatly influenced the revision of the final version of my thesis. (b) I engaged in constructive dialogue with participants on topics in GIScience & Technology, which tested my knowledge and skills acquired during the MSc study at Carinthia University of Applied Science (CUAS); and (c) I networked in the academic and professional GIS community from my geographic region.

GISCA attracts researchers, education scientists, technologists and industry representatives who are experts in GIScience. Most of the participants are from the Central Asian region. This conference acts as a platform to enhance the collaboration on themes relevant to and present the latest research results in a wide range of areas of GIScience and Technology. GISCA-2018 was organized by the Al-Farabi Kazakh National University with support from the Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Austria-Central Asia Centre for GIScience – ACA*GIScience, Eurasia-Pacific Uninet and the Austrian Academy of Sciences’ Commission for GIScience.

During the conference 29 participants and 5 invited speakers from Central Asia, Europe and China presented their recent work in GIScience and Technology. Participants could join various sessions to discuss topics and e.g. work out recommendations for policy and decision makers. Topics included e.g., GIS in cartography, agriculture and forestry, surveying, cadaster and land management; GIS and remote sensing applications, GIS applications and GIS in environmental management.

My abstract submission was allocated to the session on innovation in GIS application development. The 20-minute presentation took place on Saturday, 16th June 2018. The title of the presentation was "GIS-based analysis of Tourism Infrastructure in Central Asia”. My presentation received good feedback from the participants of the conference. The representatives of Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan expressed their interest in cooperation regarding my topic. I am invited to submit a paper for publication in the International Journal of Geoinformatics and Al-Farabi KazNU Journal. I will do this upon the completion of the Master exam in September.

Attending the conference was highly valuable learning experience for me. It was my first participation in such an academic event. I have met a number of academics and professionals from different countries who have similar research interests in GIScience and its development in Central Asia. We interacted and exchanged findings and opinions during conference sessions, coffee breaks and conference dinner.  My participation in conference was an opportunity to show results that I achieved in CUAS thanks to the partial grant from the gSmart Erasmus Mundus project.

Finally, I would like to thank Carinthia University of Applied Sciences (CUAS) for giving me the opportunity to attend the GIS in Central Asia conference – GISCA 2018 via their conference funding which covered travel and participation expenses. Many thanks go to my supervisor, Dr. Adrijana Car for her generous support and guidance."

Useful links: https://gisca2018.wordpress.com/ , http://journals.sfu.ca/ijg/index.php/journal/index