Dear attendees of INTERGEO 2024,

As patron of the world’s leading convention and trade fair for geodesy, geospatial data and land management, it is my pleasure to cordially welcome you to Stuttgart.

We can better handle complex challenges if we are familiar with the potential scenarios and options they present – and the question of “where” is a tremendously important part of this. That is why geospatial data are more valuable than ever today. We need them for more than just compiling area statistics or updating maps. They also provide a basis for decisions that have existential stakes for our society, from prevention and monitoring for civil protection to matters of internal security. When it comes to operational decisions where time is of the essence, it is especially important for geospatial data to be available quickly, reliably, and digitally.

Digital twins are increasingly used to simulate developments and measures theoretically before they are implemented in real life. The Federal Agency for Cartography and Geodesy is developing such a digital twin for all of Germany, because the immense volumes of data have also led to increasing calls to make information available as quickly and comprehensively as possible. Artificial intelligence is playing an ever-increasing role in this area, so I am pleased that the relationship between AI and geospatial data is a focus of this year’s INTERGEO.

At the same time, there is a growing risk that hostile or criminal actors could seek to manipulate or exploit geospatial data. This means that cyber security is also crucial for geospatial data – for example, to protect our critical infrastructure. Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine has been a painful reminder of how important it is to be well prepared in this area, and means that INTERGEO 2024 is also highly relevant as a forum for exchange on current security issues.

To everyone participating in INTERGEO 2024, I hope you will be inspired and enriched by your encounters and discussions here. Thank you very much for your important work!

Nancy Faeser, Federal Minister of the Interior and Community