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Eye on Earth

By [email protected] - 25th June 2015 - 11:41

What is Eye on Earth? â©

Eye on Earth (EoE) is a growing global movement that aims to improve access to and availability of environmental, social and economic data to support informed decision-making for sustainable development. Despite technological and scientific advances, decision makers often lack vital data on the state of the world’s resources. Filling this information void – or ‘data gap’ – is critical to achieving the goals of the post-2015 development agenda. â©

How does the work of EoE relate to the geo industry?â©

The geospatial industry is critical to creating value-added products and services -- an essential step in bridging the gap from data to information.â©

What are the main issues to be addressed at the EoE summit 2015? â©

With close to 30 sessions over the course of three days, the entire spectrum of earth observations will be covered from collection to delivery of results. From big data for sustainable development to private sector demand of environmental data for improving business performance, GeoConnexion International readers and other geospatial professionals will engage in a number of plenaries and interactive breakout sessions led by the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) and major geospatial leaders from both the public and private sectors.â©

We will take a look at the logarithmic explosion of data, both in terms of volume and sources, and highlight the undiscovered potential of geospatial information and new location-enabled technologies to engage more actors – and create more business opportunities – to address the environmental, social and economic challenges faced by politicians, businesses, governments, scientists and ordinary citizens.â©

Some sessions will look specifically at the components and capabilities of GEO’s Global Earth Observation System of Systems, while others will focus on crowd sourcing and the power of harnessing citizen science to fill potential blanks in existing geographic systems. For example, Professor Muki Haklay, founder and co-director of the UCL Extreme Citizen Science group, will present the latest developments in technologies and methodologies to allow any community, regardless of its literacy, to use scientific methods and tools to collect, analyse, interpret and use information about its area and activities.â©

For its part, GEO will lead an examination of the role of the private sector in connecting the supply of data to end users. Another discussion will focus on the growing need for Earth observations to serve as a monitoring mechanism to support the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030.â©

The EoE summit is really about the global community coming together to share our experience, capabilities and technologies so we can identify solutions to harness geospatial information, and other data, to contribute to a more sustainable world.â©

How can GISs contribute to the EoE movement and sustainability?â©

For example, GeoSUMR – GeoInformation for Sustainable Urban Management and Resilience – is designed to promote the use of geospatial tools and information by decision-makers in intermediate-sized cities in the developing world. The goal of this initiative is to harness the power of information technologies, such as remote sensing, GISs, GPS and web-based mapping tools, to improve the efficiency and sustainability of urban infrastructure and service delivery by linking infrastructure planning to both the natural resources and social characteristics of these rapidly growing urban centres. GeoSUMR is one of the seed-funded projects under the EoE Community Sustainability and Resiliency Special Initiative. The entities involved in this project include the Association of American Geographers (AAG), the US Department of State, Esri, Ecocity Builders, Trimble, Mundiapolis University, Ushahidi, US & World Green Building Council.â©

During the summit, the EoE Oceans and Blue Carbon Special Initiative will look at how increased understanding of the role of data and mapping can support joint fact finding. Specifically, it will explore how web-based solutions can be used to search and organise ecosystem services data in a way that is easy and navigable for stakeholders, and which policies have been put in place as a result. â©

How can the geospatial community work with other industries to bridge the data gap for decision makers?â©

In addition, one summit seminar focuses specifically on donor demand for data. We will learn from the international donor community – international development banks, development agencies, foundations and others – how data is and can be used in their decision-making processes, and the additional data and tools they need to continue to make informed, sustainable decisions.â©

Barbara Ryan is secretariat director of the Group on Earth Observations and Eye on Earth Alliance partner

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