August 25, 2004, Reston, VA: “From Pharaohs to Geoinformatics” is the title of the 8th GSDI Conference to be held 16-21 April 2005 in Cairo, Egypt. “The role of spatial data and spatial data infrastructures in an information society” is a major theme. The GSDI Association (Global Spatial Data Infrastructure) will hold this conference in conjunction with the Federation of International Surveyors (FIG) . The GSDI Association invites representatives from government, industry, non-government organizations and academia to respond to the GSDI-8 call for papers by 20 November 2004. The Association encourages presentations that address: * Assessment of current spatial data infrastructure initiatives; * Existing alternative approaches or models for planning, financing and implementing SDI initiatives in different countries or regions of the world and assess the effects of policy and technical choices in addressing cultural, social, and economic issues; * Examination of purported “SDI best practices” in terms of their policy, technological, institutional and financial approaches and their ultimate effects on economic advancement and improving quality of life; * Successes and challenges to be found in case studies, data harmonization efforts, and standards efforts, * Implications of various approaches for local, state, provincial, national, trans-national, and global stakeholders with a particular focus on the needs of people in developing nations; * New technologies, programs and research initiatives that may provide better guidance in SDI implementation; * Possible future technological scenarios for SDI developments; * SDI application models to support decision makers in areas such as sustainable development, natural resources management, land administration, disaster management support, and economic/business activities; * Role of SDI best practices and capabilities as an integrated part of the broader IT enterprise architecture.The GSDI “movement” began in 1996 when the 1st Conference of GSDI was held, and has continued as a yearly gathering of experts and visionaries from over 50 nations dedicated to promoting establishment and utilization of spatial data infrastructures. In July 2003, the GSDI Association was formalized as an international professional not-for-profit body and adopted a set of By-Laws under a framework of a GSDI Council, Board of Directors and Secretariat. GSDI Association programs encourage cooperative development of compatible local, national, regional and global Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI). Through the establishment of a network of SDIs, GSDI envisions the standardized discovery, access and sharing of key geographic data and applications necessary for improved decision-making for a sustainable and economic growth of societies. With emphasis on developing nations, GSDI programs address awareness and exchanges on infrastructure issues, standards-based data access/discovery, applications development, capacity building, and SDI development research.The GSDI Association invites government, industry and academic organizations, as well as individuals, to take part in GSDI programs. For more details on GSDI and Membership information please visit OGC is an international voluntary consensus standards organization of more than 250 companies, government agencies and universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available geoprocessing interface specifications. OGC's OpenGIS Specifications support interoperable solutions that “geo-enable” the Web, wireless and location- based services, and mainstream IT.”