Next week's Spatial Information in the European Community (INSPIRE) annual conference will celebrate 10 years since the initiative was first established by Member States of the European Union.
The 5 day conference is expected to attract up to 1,000 participants from across Europe and beyond who will share ideas on a broad range of geospatial topics such as policies, interoperability and infrastructure. The first two day's workshop events are being held in Kehl, Germany while the following three day's events (plenaries, thematic sessions, exhibitions and networking etc.) will be held in nearby Strasbourg, France.
Considering that INSPIRE is about bringing geospatialists together in order to 'make the world a better place', it is perhaps no coincidence that the initiative's logo is very similar to a pineapple, an object which symbolises hospitality and friendship.
As mentioned above, the town of Kehl plays host to the first two days of the INSPIRE conference. Strasbourg is, meanwhile, located only 6 kilometres away and at a mere €3 trainride the event certainly demonstrates the convenience of Europe's open borders!
The conference is likely to contain lots of exciting geospatial fun and activities. However, finding geospatial 'inspiration' isn't just limited to the event itself.
As long as you bring the right attitude, geospatial inspiration can be found just about anywhere!
While geospatial policy for resource security will be a key focus of the event, there should be no shortage of pineapple sauerkraut and frankfurters in Kehl!
Meanwhile in Strasbourg, you should have lots of time to sip a 'une café' while reading an inspiring passage by one of France's many famous writers.
Since maps rely heavily on colour and composition, you should have plenty of time to find cartographic inspiration at one of the many orchestras or galleries nearby.
Maps are also about strategy and leadership. It is therefore perhaps no coincidence that much of the event is being held in the birthplace of French football manager Arséne Wenger - the master strategist behind Arsenal FC!
And if the conference events all get too tiring for you then you may prefer to unwind by watching a movie in your hotel...
...or soak up a refreshing cocktail.
Pineapples are, by the way, great for the digestive system!
Enjoy the event!