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January 29th, 2015
Competition Among Australian Smart Mapping Students to Kick Off Career

The winner of the 2015 Esri Young Scholars Award will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to San Diego to present their work to 16,000 professionals at the world’s largest spatial event, the 2015 Esri User Conference.

The competition aims to inspire students to enter the booming Geographic Information System (GIS) industry, which is worth in excess of $2.1b in Australia and expected to triple over the coming decade.

Managing Director of the Esri Australia and Esri South Asia groups Brett Bundock said the competition was vital in addressing a projected nationwide shortage of tertiary-qualified GIS specialists.

“Cloud computing, mobile devices, user-friendly apps and the growing collection of business and location data have made smart mapping technologies, such as GIS, an essential decision-making tool,” Mr Bundock said.

“The technology is now an intrinsic part of industries such as banking, insurance and retail – as well as government and defence – around the world.
“A recent Cooperative Research Centre for Spatial Information (CRCSI) report has projected a national shortfall of 500 tertiary-qualified GIS specialists by 2017. 
“For Australia to remain globally competitive, we need to ensure we develop the professionals needed to drive the industry and that is what this award seeks to do.”

Some of the nation’s most influential smart mapping leaders will decide the winning entry, including: 

•Brett Bundock – Managing Director, Esri Australia
•Glenn Cockerton – Chairman, Spatial Industries Business Association (SIBA)
•Maria Fernandez – Director, Australian Geospatial-Intelligence Organisation (AGO)
•Steve Jacoby – Executive Director – Land and Spatial Information, Department of Natural Resources and Mines (DNRM) 
•Grace Lin – 2014 Australian Winner of the Esri Young Scholar Award

The Award is open to undergraduate and postgraduate students majoring in geospatial science disciplines at Australian universities; and has previously fielded entries from a diverse field of studies, including engineering, environmental science, surveying, land and resources management, geology and computer sciences.
To enter, students must submit a project that shows innovation and technical merit in the use of GIS technology to address real-world issues.

Entries close 10 April 2015.

More information can be found at esriaustralia.com.au/youngscholars