International leadership of the geospatial community converged in Huntsville, Ala. June 5-9 for the Open Geospatial Consortium’s 126th Member Meeting. Womble Bond Dickinson Partner David Vance Lucas, is the current Executive Director of GEOHuntsville, the host organization. Lucas advises clients in the geospatial sector and was deeply involved in the planning of the conference, and Womble Bond Dickinson was a sponsor of the conference.

The geospatial industry encompasses a wide range of technologies and involves the collection, analysis, interpretation, and visualization of geographic data, such as coordinates, addresses, or boundaries. Geospatial data is vital to navigation, urban planning, land management, environmental monitoring, disaster management, transportation, logistics, natural resource exploration, agriculture, surveying, defense, and security - and many more.

The Open Geospatial Consortium Member Meeting featured a week of informational breakout sessions, standard setting working groups, as well as a keynote address by Todd Johanesen, Director of the Foundation GEOINT Group at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), U.S. Geospatial Intelligence Foundation CEO Ronda Schrenk and Esri Director of Global National Government Patty Mims. Special programming was offered related to:

  • Defense and Intelligence; 
  • Climate and Disaster Resilience; and
  • Space and Sensors.

“GEOHuntsville and Womble Bond Dickinson were excited to welcome the international geospatial community to Huntsville,” Lucas said. “Geospatial technology is already critical to the global economy, and its importance will only grow in the decades to come, in the solutions it offers, services it provides, and the jobs it creates.”

The conference included geospatial businesses and government agencies not only from across the U.S., but also from the UK, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Thailand and elsewhere.

Open Geospatial Consortium

Building on the region’s strong ties to the aerospace and defense industries, Huntsville has emerged as a key market for the geospatial industry. The National Space Science and Technology Center (NSSTC) in Huntsville is a leading research center for the applications of geospatial technology, and numerous private companies in the region are heavily involved in the geospatial sector. GEOHuntsville was a development initiative created in a partnership with Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle and community leaders to promote greater economic diversity and growth. The Mayor’s goal was to make the best possible use of Huntsville’s collective brainpower to ensure that the City became a global leader in research and development in the field of geospatial technologies.

“This conference is a significant event for Huntsville,” Mayor Battle said. “As a major contributor to space, defense and technology-related industries, we understand the importance of keeping our community on the cutting-edge of geospatial advancements.”

For more than 28 years, the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) has operated as a neutral forum where government, industry, nonprofits, and academia come together to engage in collective problem-solving around the critical issues of the day. The OGC represents over 500 businesses, government agencies, research organizations, and universities – united with a desire to make location information FAIR – Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable. 

David Vance Lucas speaks at the Open Geospatial Consortium in Huntsville, Ala.David Vance Lucas speaks at the Open Geospatial Consortium.

David Vance Lucas – WBD Global Solutions Team (U.S.)

For over three decades, David Vance Lucas has applied his legal, technological, and operational experience to craft strategic advice on intellectual property, international trade, and complex litigation matters – throughout the U.S., U.K., and Europe. He accumulated much of this experience while serving as general counsel for a global technology company and a clinical laboratory software company. David utilizes this experience and legal acumen to advise C-suites and boards of directors (public and private) on legal, compliance, and operational issues.

Womble Bond Dickinson’s multi-disciplinary Global Solutions Team provides a full range of legal services to companies working across international borders. This includes regulatory compliance in cross-border trade, global transactions, government contracts, inbound contracts, international IP protection, dispute resolution, international tax issues, and more. 

This initiative is part of Womble Bond Dickinson’s Growing Global series, which examines how companies and organizations compete and thrive in an increasingly global marketplace.  For more insights, visit our Growing Global hub.