Day Two of Geo Week 2024 ended with a bang, with a variety of awards being handed out to some of the most innovative thinkers this industry has to offer. The award ceremony was emceed by Geo Week’s Lora Burns, and included awards given out to young geospatial professionals, outstanding academic projects, leaders in lidar, and so much more.
The ceremony kicked off with the Younger Geospatial Professional award, which is presented in partnership between Geo Week and Lidar News. Gene Roe, the founder of Lidar News, presented the award to winner Dimitrios Bolkas, Associate Professor at Pennsylvania State University. While accepting his award, Bolkas had an opportunity to showcase his work to the crowd, showcasing how he and his team have enabled the use of virtual reality in surveying and mapping.
“I really want to expose our students to new technologies, for them to understand how it works, embrace it, don’t be afraid of it, and maybe find new ways to make a difference,” said Bolkas in a pre-show statement.
Following this award, the ceremony moved on to the Lidar Leader Awards, which are presented in partnership between Geo Week and Lidar Magazine. Presenting these awards was Dr. Stewart Walker, the managing editor of Lidar Magazine. This started with an award for the best poster on display at Geo Week and the ASPRS’ Academic Hub, with North Carolina A&T State University. The winning university was awarded for their poster, Advanced Wetland Prediction for Flood Resilience in Southern North Carolina.
Dr. Walker also presented an award for Outstanding Innovation in Lidar, which went to Blue Marble Geographics. Blue Marble Geographics was nominated for its outstanding innovation in creating a groundbreaking new functionality for training custom automatic point cloud classifications. The Custom Point Cloud Classification Training Tool results from years of work in lidar and point cloud processing within Global Mapper Pro. Blue Marble Geographics has been innovating methods for classifying and editing point clouds for almost a decade, making strides in generating photogrammetric point clouds and processing them along with aerial and terrestrial lidar while keeping these tools financially accessible.
For the Outstanding Team Achievement in Lidar award, two teams were recognized for very different but equally impressive work: The Singapore Housing & Development Board and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The former was awarded for their work in Intelligent Mapping and Querying of Singapore’s Residential Estates, while the latter was recognized for their National Coastal Mapping Program.
Finally, the Outstanding Personal Achievement in Lidar award was given out to Terrasolid’s Arttu Soininen, the mastermind behind the world-renowned TerraScan, TerraMatch, TerraPhoto, and more. Soininen was introduced by BAAM.Tech’s Christian Stallings before giving his own acceptance speech. In the speech, he thanked his happy customers for inspiring him to improve, his unhappy customers for driving him to improve, and his competitors for forcing him to improve.
After the conclusion of the Lidar Leader Awards, the final portion of the ceremony was dedicated to ASPRS awards. These were presented by ASPRS President Lorraine B. Amenda, with the following industry leaders being given awards:
2024 William T. Pecora Award
Dr. Russell G. Congalton, University of New Hampshire
2023 Estes Memorial Teaching
Dr. L. Monika Moskal, University of Washington
- Rebecca Morton, GeoWing Mapping, Inc.
- Dr. Joseph Messina, University of Alabama
- Gregory Stensaas, USGS (retired)
- Amar Nayegandhi, Dewberry
2023 Photogrammetric Fairchild
Dr. Jason Stoker, USGS
2023 Lifetime Achievement
Dr. Charles Toth, Ohio State University
2023 Outstanding Technical Achievement
Dr. Gerald L. Mader, National Geodetic Survey (retired)