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Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Early Short Notes on the Cap Town GEO IV Plenary and Summit

The short note has been submitted to the Board members of GSDI, EUROGI and HUNAGI. Also UNSDI experts and HUCO Stakeholders were informed in copy.
Short Note on the GEO IV
"...First I have to report I am back from a highly successful mission taking part GEO IV Plenary and Ministerial Summit in Cape Town (supported by GSDI and HUNAGI). The CapeTown Declaration was accepted and the expression "spatial data infrastructure" is explicite mentioned in a positive context supporting the UNSDI development.
73 countries including the European Commission and over 40 acknowledged participating organisation (UNESCO, FAO, WMO, WHO, CEOSS, ICSU and many more including GSDI, OGC and EuroGeoSurveys) prepared the text of the Declaration which is now available at www.earthobservations.org
In the Plenary I made interventions on both days as head of the GSDI delegation having on the board Ivan DeLoatch (USDGS, Director of FGDC) as Alternate Head of the Delegation, Doug Neberts (FGDC) and Carmelle J. Terborgh of ESRI. For the Ministerial Summit on 30th November Ivan prepared an excellent GSDI statement, which was read by him. The electronic version has been submitted to the GEO Secretary on the spot and is available also from the HUNAGI Newsblog later today.
The merit of my two interventions were
on 28 Nov In the discussion of the draft text of the Declaration:
1a: GSDI is in favour to keep the "information systems" in the draft text of the Declaration
1b: welcome the UNSDI related draft text, seconded the UNEP delegate's comment, the UNGIWG should be named.
on 29 Nov commenting the Committee Reports:
2a: as effective tool to strengthen the connection between technology and people, the spatial data infrastructure (incl. data, services) has an enabling interface role.
2b: among the GSDI WGs especially the Legal and Economy WG can contribute to the further achievements of the GEO Committee devoted to the user interface.
3b: I emphasized the strong regional involvements in the GSDI activities. I mentioned explicitly the two forthcoming events in the Carribean in 3 months at the West Indies University and the next one in Rotterdam, which will be organised by the interdisciplinary umbrella organisation EUROGI and others in conjuction with the European Commission's Annual GI/GIS Workshop in Rotterdam. It was underlined, both GSDI events can be benefitial for the
activities of the four GEO committees on
- User Interface
- Architecture and Data
- Capacity Building as well as
- Science and Technology.
The high profile meetings were orchestrated by the four Co-Chairs of GEO from EC, US, China and the host South Africa.
Sout Africa and especially the Department of Science and Technology made a great performance to organise the event with excellent logisics, professional content, warm hospitality and also arranged fine weather...
The next GEO will be hosted by China in next November.
Important spin-off opportunities used were used in the breaks and social events which might be beneficial also for EUROGI and HUNAGI:
- Talk to Zoran Stancic, Deputy DG of DG Research, he recognised the presence of the geospatial interest communities,
- Gary J. Foley of US EPA, Co-chair of GEO UIC appreciated my notes on the valuable potential contributions of the experiences and expertizes of NGOs in user interface on global, regional and national level as GSDI, EUROGI and as an example - HUNAGI,
- Douglas Muchoney GEO Secretariat He mentioned the next actions in GEO - Hungarian relations,
- Robert Missotten on the planned HUNAGI action in the UNESCO initiated the International Year of the Planet Earth (he was seemengly well received to hear about IYPE on the spot at the GEO IV),
- Jeanne Foust strategist, Global Manager on SDI at ESRI, she was satisfied with the news she received from the ESRI User Conference held last month,
- Simonetta Cheli Head of the Coordination Office at ESA ESRIN ( since 20 years a friendly contact at ESA for the Hungarian EO experts),
- John S. Latham GLCN Coordinator at FAO, talks in good atmosphere on the UNSDI, GEO and related subjects,
- Werner Balogh, Programme Officer at UN OOSA, on the planned IYPE action of HUNAGI as the geospatial data interest community in 2008 and possible OOSA participation,
- Professor Guo Huadong, DG of the Center of EO and Digital Earth. (He invited me to be member of the Board four month ago). We exchange views on the ISDE- GEO and the Potsdam Summit of Digital Earth advertised also on the spot.
- Jiri Hradec, Director of CENIA, Czech Republic on the NSDI actions on national level and the need and usefulness of exchange of experiences.
- JohnW. Zillman, Chair of GCOS Committee was the next delegation to us. He remembered on the Hungarian link Academician Rudolf Czelnai once his colleagues at WMO, who pioneered the GEO at the Hungarian Academy of Sciencesearly last year,
- Peter T. Gilruth Director, Division of Early Warning and Assessment at UNEP in the UNSDI context,
- Prof. Markus Rotachter of GFZ, Potsdam Delegate of the IAG at GEO (N.B. the next Digital Earth Summit will be hosted by GFZ)
- The African links: EIS Africa Executive Director Sives Govender (short talks in the EUROGI context: AESI_Align project and the Brussels meeting on October 11), Olajide Kufoniyi, Executive Director of the Regional Centre for Training in Aerospace Surveys in Nigeria as well as Terry Newby Programme Manager of Natural Resources Monitoring, Auditing and Impact Assessment ( building links with the FÖMI RSC),
- Gisbert Glaser of ICSU talking on the ICSU-ISPRS links during the 1996-2000 period
- Short daily exchange of views with Alessandro Annoni of DG JRC, Dietmar Grünreich (BKG) and Martin Molenaar of ITC were usual,
- Greg Buehler, Director of the Outreach & Communication Services at OGC how HUNAGI could be partner in the outreach activities.
These are only a part of my report I will submit to the GSDI Board and HUNAGI Presidential Board later this year.
The Event was successfull, the GSDI and HUNAGI was well represented, some opportunities we missed in the past ( e.g. contribution to the printed GEO publications) but the need for the involvement of the geospatial community is steadily growing.
Gabor Remetey..."

CapeTownDeclaration can be find here:
http://www.earthobservations.org/05_Draft%20Cape%20Town%20Declaration%2030%20Nov%20Final%20Draft.pdf

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