Ron Lake sets the tone of the 2009 GeoWeb Conference and it isn’t upbeat.

Wither the world. It is hard at times not to be pessimistic. The world, our world, is admittedly finite. The illusion of expansion and of conquering frontiers, a hangover from the European expansion (the great reconnaissance) and their subsequent temporary dominance of the world, made us think otherwise, but only for a time. There are no more hidden worlds to discover and no more frontiers to conquer. The economy of the West, meaning that of the United States and Europe, seems to be in inevitable decline. The power and influence of the BRIC countries and the GCC seems to be on an inevitable rise. If one clings to the importance of the dominance of the West, this change of affairs may seem to be an unfortunate one indeed. If one looks at the betterment of the balance of humanity, it could equally be a cause for celebration.

As a voter in the United States, I take full responsibility for bringing down western civilization. Seriously though Ron is doing what he does best, foster discussion. I can only imagine “in the round” we’ll be discussing the above and much more. One thing that is for sure, I’ll be presenting a technical session on “Enabling the GeoWeb with Small Organizations” (at the same time as Peter Batty and Xavier Lopez of Oracle).

I’m interested in seeing how the conference shapes up after Where 2.0 2009 being so much smaller than in previous years. The ESRI UC seemed to show that some conferences are still going strong and this could be an indicator as to the GeoWeb Conference’s position in the geospatial conference pecking order. I’m doing my part by going.