It is our great honour to welcome you to the 17th International Symposium on Spatial Data Handling (SDH), hosted by the State Key Laboratory of Resources and Environment Information System (LREIS), the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). The International Symposium on Spatial Data Handling (SDH) is the biennial international research forum for Geospatial Information Science, co-organized by the Commssion on Geographic Information Science and the Commission on Modelling Geographical Systems of the International Geographical Union (IGU). It commenced in 1984 in Zurich, Switzerland and has ever since been held in Seattle, USA; Sydney, Australia; Zurich, Switzerland; Charleston, USA; Edinburgh, UK; Delft, The Netherlands; Vancouver, Canada; Beijing, China; Ottawa, Canada; Leicester, UK; Vienna, Austria; Montpellier, France; Hong Kong, China; Bonn, Germany and Toronto, Canada.

Our meeting in Beijing will bring together geographers, cartographers, computer scientists and others from the international community of geospatial information sciences and geomatics engineering to present the latest achievements and to share experiences in GIS reserach in advance of the 33rd International Congress in Beijing. This year, the Annual Meeting will focus on the key topic: face the challenges of big data within GIS. Looking forward to the engaging discussions, exchanges of ideas, and to the major outcomes of the 17th International Symposium on Spatial Data Handling. We expect it to become a major event in the international GIScience community in 2016.

This year, the 33rd International Geographical Congress will be held in Beijing, on August 21-25, 2016. Two big events are waiting for you. Welcome to Beijing.

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