International GIS Day 2017 in Bulgaria

ESRI Bulgaria in partnership with more than 30 leading organizations once again gathered the Bulgarian GIS community together.

Sofia, 16 November 2017 – Each year in November, the world celebrates the International Day of the Geographic Information Systems, established and promoted by Esri, the world leader in geospatial technology and it`s partners. In Bulgaria, the event was organized by ESRI Bulgaria for the nineteenth consecutive year. More than 500 representatives of more than 140 organizations from the central and local government, business, non-governmental organizations and the academic community in the country joined the largest GIS forum in Bulgaria.

The prestigious event was officially opened by Maria Gabriel, European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, at the European Commission. “The use of GIS in every economic sector improves the work efficiency and planning. I am glad that at the forum today will be presented GIS solutions from so many different sectors. This is a confirmation about the importance of these technologies for the digital transformation of our country“, said Maria Gabriel. She highlighted that the European Commission is working actively to extend the presence of GIS so that citizens, businesses, and administrations make informed decisions and conduct sustainable policies.

In the opening ceremony of the GIS Day conference also took part Denitsa Sacheva, Deputy Minister of Education and Science, Anatoly Velichkov, Deputy Minister of Defense, Hristo Hristov, Director of Information Technologies Directorate at the Ministry of Transport, Information Technologies and Communications, arch. Lubomir Georgiev, Director of  OP “Sofproect” OGP and head of the “Vision for Sofia” team, and Evgenia Karadjova, CEO of ESRI Bulgaria – the leading company in the field of GIS in Bulgaria and official organizer of the forum in the country.


Especially for the GIS day in Bulgaria arrived Omar Baddur, Program Manager of climate data and monitoring at the World Meteorological Organization. He presented a report on the state of the climate in 2017, focusing on the monitoring of global climate change that has an impact on our country. The leading climatologist demonstrated good practices in the implementation of GIS for predicting and dealing with natural disasters. The international attendance of the conference was supplemented by Oliver Charlesworth, International Director at Citilabs, who demonstrated how thanks to GIS megapolis like London deal with the traffic.

Omar Baddour_GISDay2017

At an official ceremony in the evening were presented the winners of the annual awards for achievements in the implementation and establishment of Geographic Information Systems in Bulgaria.

The Ministry of Interior received the award for their overall GIS system developed on the basis of the world-recognized GIS technologies. The honor was given by Rumyana Bachvarova, head of the Prime Minister’s Political Cabinet to Krasimir Tsipov, Deputy Minister of the Interior of the Republic of Bulgaria. In 2017 under the Internal Security Fund of the European Union, the Ministry of the Interior implemented the innovative GIS project to create a comprehensive departmental Geographic Information System. The system is based on the application of highly innovative and globally validated GIS solutions and technologies, allowing complex integration, powerful analyzes and providing a common operational picture to support the border protection activities of the Republic of Bulgaria, crisis management, and criminal analysis.

The Bulgarian Executive Environment Agency (ExEA) accepted the award for the upgrade of the information system part of the Bulgaria’s National Biodiversity Monitoring System under the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area. Kamelia Radeva, Executive Director of ExEA, received the award from Omar Baddur, Program Manager at the World Meteorological Organization.

A special international award was received by the Bulgarian Ports Infrastructure Company for the implementation of the first in Bulgaria integrated information system for real-time monitoring of the Black Sea. The system has excelled among more than 100,000 international projects. The “Special Achievement in GIS” award is the highest recognition in the field of GIS technology. The prize was awarded to Angel Zaburtov, General Director of BPI Co. by Evgenia Karadjova, CEO of ESRI Bulgaria.

Valentin Valkanov, General Manager of  Water Supply and Sewerage Ltd. – Varna, received the award for “Strategic vision for implementation of globally recognized GIS solutions for the support of water utility activities”. Vessela Nacheva – Krasteva, head of the political cabinet of the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works gave the award.

Worley Parsons Nuclear Services was awarded for the development of GIS capabilities and implementation of modern GIS solutions in its operation in Bulgaria. The award was presented by Peter Ivanov, executive director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Bulgaria to Seraphim Tsenov, Project Manager at Worley Parsons Nuclear Services.

For the implementation of scientific approach and most modern GIS solutions for studying, analyzing and evaluating the condition of underground water bodies in Bulgaria was awarded the Geological Institute “St.Dimitrov” at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. The award was given by Prof. Dr. Temenujka Bandrova, Chairman of the Bulgarian Cartographic Association to Prof. Dr. Radoslav Nakov, Director of Geological Institute at BAS and Prof. Dr. Alexei Benderev, Head of Hydrology Department, Geological Institute at BAS.


Within GIS Day 2017 was held the traditional map competition “The power of Maps”. The winners this year are: the Space Research and Technology Institute at BAS, together with SCGIS Chapter Bulgaria for “Best cartographic representation”, the Union of Planners in Bulgaria for “Most Interesting GIS Analysis” and GIS Club of the University of Forestry, Sofia for “Best StoryMap”. The audience award went to the Association of polar early career scientists in Bulgaria (APECS Bulgaria).

GIS Day 2017 in Bulgaria is held with the official partnership and support of the record 30 organizations: Bulgarian Association of Software Companies, American Chamber of Commerce in Bulgaria, National Association of Municipalities in Bulgaria, Foundation for Local Government Reform, Bulgarian Council for sustainable development, Geodesy union, Union of Architects in Bulgaria, Union of Planners in Bulgaria, Construction Chamber in Bulgaria, Bulgarian Water Association, AFCEA Bulgaria, Association of Chiefs of Police, Bulgarian Cartographic Association, Bulgarian Cartographic Association, SCGIS Bulgaria,  Green Balkans,, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia University “Sv. Kl. Ohridski”, “University of Architecture, Civil Engineering and Geodesy”, “University of Mining and Geology”, “University of Forestry”, Bulgarian Association for Geospatial Information Systems. Media partners: bTV Media Group, City Media Group, National Geographic Bulgaria. GIS Day 2017 is held with the kind support of Geographica Ltd., STEMO, KONTRAX, Ciela-Norma, GISolutions Ltd. and Agora 66.