The final semester started off yesterday, first subject offered was Robotics – where I’ll get a chance to learn the methodologies and principles used i n the process of developing robots. Next was the Theory of Programming Languages, but unfortunately I heard that this time also it’s not going to get offered.
Today I attended the inaugural Sahana Conference 2009, which took place at the conference hall at HNB tower, Colombo, Sri Lanka. It was attended by distinguishing practitioners of disaster management around the world, academia, local government representatives, students, etc…
The gathering was warmly welcomed by Dr. Sanjiva Weerawarana, with an enlightening speech. The Keynote speech for the day was delivered by Mr. Brent Woodworth highlighting key aspects of modern disaster management with special reference to most popular GIS applications. Next, Mr. Chamindra De Silva spoke about the history and evolution of Sahana and its community from its inception to present, highlighting how & where its was used to elevate and minimize the impact of human sufferings in the aftermath of disaster situations, which occurred during the past couple of years.
Next Mr. Mifan Careem delivered his speech on the theme “Veni, Vidi, Sahana“, highlighting the operations and ground work that took place at the DMC just after the Tsunami devestation that took place on 26th December, 2004 and how it helped to capture and formalized the exact requirements for initial stage of the project. Next Mr. Dominic Konig shared his experiences, value and importance of localization for a system like Sahana when the end users are not a native English speaking person.
After the lunch break, the ICTA representative Mr. Wasantha Deshapriya discussed about the current status and the progress gained by the e-Sri Lanka and other government sector agencies. Next Mr. Martin Thomsan shared his experiences about On-site operations and co-ordination activities that was carried out during post-disaster situations. Although it was scheduled to have speech by Mr. Mifan Careem on “GIS in Disaster Management”, instead Mr. Brent Woodworth delivered a speech on “Contingency planning in disaster situations “. Lastly Mr. Ajaya Kumar shared his Sahana deployment experience at Bihar and other FOSS experiences in India.
Looking forward for another day of exciting day of events on Sahana Conference 2009 – day 2. But I have a little concern in my mind regarding the end result of the series of events in the coming days because I feel like some parties will get left behind .