To recognize and celebrate excellence across the geospatial industry, Geo Week hosts an awards ceremony to honor nominated leaders and distinguished professionals for their achievements. In partnership with LIDAR Magazine, Lidar News, and ASPRS, the Geo Week Awards were presented at the Geo Week Conference in Denver, CO on February 7, 2022.
The 2022 Geo Week Awards honor the achievements of individuals and teams working in the geospatial technology space. The ceremony included the Younger Geospatial Professional Award, Lidar Leader Awards, and the presentation of ASPRS Awards.
After a virtual event ceremony took place in 2020, the awards returned to the conference stage for the live event taking place in Denver from February 6-8 2022.
“We are thrilled to be able to gather together in person after so much time apart, and I want to thank everyone who submitted nominations from all sectors and industries around the globe,” said Lora Burns, Marketing Manager of Diversified Communications’ portfolio of technology events.
“It is not lost on the staff at Geo Week how much of an honor it is to be able to facilitate and produce these awards for the industry, and to recognize some of the brightest minds in the geospatial community.”
The Younger Geospatial Professional Award was presented by Dr. Gene Roe, Founder and Managing Editor of Lidar News. This year’s recipient was Rami Tamimi, the founder and chief geodetic engineer at GEOICS, and doctorate student at The Ohio State University studying Geodetic Engineering. In addition to his academic and professional career, Tamimi is a prolific YouTube creator whose videos went viral after trying to find a way to connect with his students remotely via YouTube, producing videos about the surveying industry and educating those new to the profession with wit, creativity and expertise. His educational contributions to the field were notable to the judges who found his efforts critical and needed for inspiring the next generation of surveyors.
The LIDAR Leader Awards, presented by Stewart Walker, managing editor of LIDAR Magazine, announced awards in five distinct categories:
The winner of the Outstanding University Achievement in Lidar was chosen by a panel of judges who watched live presentations from nominees during Geo Week in a “University Lightning Round.” Dr. Ezra Che was presented with the award for his work in developing and testing a high-performance algorithm for classifying large, complex point clouds. By taking on one of the most challenging aspects of lidar collection, Dr. Che and his team are committed to work towards solving a problem with long-lasting impacts on the lidar community.
The Outstanding Team Achievement in Lidar award is given to teams who have demonstrated a unique achievement in the area of service, project management, product development or other specialty. The winner of this award was the Minnesota 3DGeomatics Committee, which was accepted by three members of the committee, Sean Vaughn, Coin Lee, and Dr. Jennifer Corcoran. The 3D Geomatics Committee of the Minnesota Geospatial Advisory Council works to identify and promote the need for planning, funding, acquisition, and management of three-dimensional geomatic data and derived products. 3DGeo’s success is built on a collaborative community, working together to coordinate fundraising and education to achieve the common goal of acquiring high-density lidar statewide.
The Outstanding Enterprise Achievement in Lidar is awarded to organizations for companies of 100 members or more in product development within geospatial lidar technology. Outsight received this award for its Augmented Lidar Box, a first lidar pre-processor: a real-time software engine that turns any lidar into a Spatial Intelligence device.
The Outstanding Innovation in Lidar Award is given to products, business models or technology on the market for less than one year, and is awarded to Emesent for their Hovermap lidar mapping and autonomy payload. Hovermap’s high quality, high resolution, colorized point clouds have enabled customers to derive new insights in mining, architecture, construction, engineering, forestry, and other verticals. Hovermap was recognized for its advanced autonomy and mapping capabilities. When mounted on a drone, it provides safe, autonomous, beyond line of sight flight in challenging areas even without GPS.
The award for Outstanding Personal Achievement in Lidar is awarded to individuals who have made a significant impact to their organization, local, or national community, either through technical excellence, professional development, or innovation within the realm of geospatial lidar technology. This year the award was presented posthumously for the first time, awarded to Dr. Martin Isenburg who passed away in 2021. Dr. Isenburg was the creator of the widely used LAStools, LASzip, and PulseWaves software packages, and he operated Rapidlasso GmbH while providing commercial and open-source software for lidar data processing, exploitation, compression, and organization. The committee received an overwhelming number of nominations for Dr. Isenburg and decided unanimously to honor Martin’s life work with this award. The award was accepted by Silke Kämmerer, the administrator and executor for Martin, who also presented a touching memorial tribute to one of lidar’s most notable figures.
The final section of the Geo Week awards featured awards presented by ASPRS. The ASPRS Fellow Awards is conferred on ASPRS members for exceptional service in advancing the science and use of mapping science disciplines. The winners of the Fellow Awards were; Dr. Bruce Quirk, Semi-retired scientist working for the USGS since 1981 and USGS UAS liaison; Dr. Haluk Cetin, Professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Murray State University; Dr. Henry “Hank” Theiss, Research Associate Professor at the University of Arkansas in the Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies (CAST).
The ASPRS Estes Memorial Teaching awards recognizes individual achievements in promotion of remote sensing and geographic information systems technology and applications through educational efforts. The award was bestowed upon Dr. Bon Dewitt, Professor and Associate Director of the Geomatics Program at the University of Florida.
The ASPRS Outstanding Technical Achievement Award recognizes significant critical contributions and rewards developers of breakthrough technology that advances geospatial practices in the US. This year, the award was given to Dr. Bruno Scherzinger of Applanix in recognition of his leadership in commercialization and implementation of the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS)-aided internal navigation systems.