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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Newsletter of the UNSDI National Office of The Netherlands

By the courtesy of Mr. Jan Cees Venema, Head of the UNSDI NCO in The Netherlands, please find below the second issue of the Newsletter of our Sister NCO just received:

2008 - Issue 2

Dear Gabor Remetey,

In this issue:

  • Status UNGIWG/UNSDI developments
  • UNSDI activities in the Netherlands
  • GeoNetwork graduates from OSGeo incubation
  • 2nd Mediterranean Workshop Rome 10-11 June 2008

New subscriptions can be made at the www.unsdi.nl/news page. So if you have colleagues or know any other interested parties, this is the place for them to go.

Jan Cees Venema



Status UNGIWG/UNSDI developments

On 5 & 6 February 2008 the UNGIWG Secretariat organized a workshop, hosted by WFP in Rome in order to formulate the so called "UNSDI Deliverables", being data sets which the UNGIWG members consider to be the "core geo-data sets" for an initial UNSDI, needed by the UN bodies as a comon baseline for their work. Additional deliverables identified are capacity building activities, both within the UN bodies as in developing countries, the latter being dubbed "indigenous capacity building". Other Deliverables are on interoperability and tools.

In March/April the Interim UNSDI Deliverables List and 1st draft of the UNSDI Framework Project Document were finalized and circulated to the members for comments. For the rest of the year the following major milestones are foreseen: in May/June the Interim UNSDI Board and the Interim Technical Advisory Body (TAG) will be established. In July the UNSDI Project will be established with UNOPS and the UNSDI Project Team will be formed. In early November, at the UNGIWG-9 meeting, hosted by UNOOSA in Vienna, the UNSDI Board and TAG will be formed and the UNSDI Project Team recognized. In December the UNSDI Project and the Deliverables List will be adopted by the UNSDI Board.

Next steps are to:

  • Finalize the Deliverables, work plans, budgets, issue donor appeal document
  • Set-up UNSDI structures: institutional and technical
  • Dialogue with major external stakeholders (UN reform bodies, governments, etc.)
  • Mobilize resources
  • Sustain UNGIWG Secretariat, set-up UNSDI Project Team

Here you can find the new UNSDI Technical Governance Framework documents:

More documents at http://www.ungiwg.org/documents.htm.


UNSDI activities in the Netherlands

The Netherlands Coordination Office (NCO) of UNSDI assisted the UNGIWG-UNSDI members with the formulation of the “UNSDI Deliverables”, in particular the translation of functional requirements into products and services, assisted by UNSDI-NCO partners the International Institute for Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC) and SarVision on the issues of indigenous capacity building and land cover mapping in tropical regions respectively.

The Netherlands' Permanent Representative to FAO, WFP and IFAD, Mrs. Agnes van Ardenne, forwarded a comprehensive note concerning possible participation in UNSDI and FAO SDI development to the Netherlands' Government. The note, which was prepared with inputs rom FAO and the NCO, is presently being processed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment and the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, since UNSDI covers relevant MDGs, environmental protection, food security, humanitarian response, economic development and peace and safety issues. UNSDI-NCO is providing the necessary input in this process.

Our National UNSDI-NCO GeoNetwork portal (www.geonetwork.nl) is now operational for almost a year and contains over 17.800 database items. In this period some 6880 geo-information downloads have taken place by users from 117 countries! The portal is still powered by GeoNetwork 2.0.3, but will be upgraded to version 2.2.0 in the second half of this year and will have it's full functionality by then.


GeoNetwork graduates from OSGeo incubation

Over the past year the GeoNetwork team, led by Jeroen Ticheler, worked on making GeoNetwork opensource a full OSGeo project. A few weeks ago GeoNetwork was vetted by the OSGeo board as 'graduated' from the OSGeo incubation process. This makes GeoNetwork an official OSGeo project and should help to ensure the long-term sustainability of the project. Congratulations Jeroen and team!

Jeroen recently wrote an article that has been published in the May issue of Geoconnexion International magazine as part of a series on OSGeo columns on open source geospatial software. The link to the article online: http://www.geoconnexion.com/uploads/opensource_intv7i5.pdf.


2nd Mediterranean Workshop Rome 10-11 June 2008

On 10-11 June 2008 FAO will host an important event on climate change issues and spatial data infrastructure: the 2nd Mediterranean workshop. The workshop is held under the aegis of the European Standardization Committee for Geographic Information, CEN/TC 287. Day chair will be Prof. Arnold Bregt (Wageningen University and Research Center). It is the second of a series of Mediterranean Workshops, the first of which was held in Athens on 14 March.

Full information about the workshop, including its programme, registration and logistics details can be found on this website http://www.gistandards.eu

The workshop will bring together a wide variety of experts, representing geographic information standards, SDI, interoperability, ontologies and applications. On both days the programme features an excellent keynote speaker and moreover the Chair of ISO/TC 211 will participate in the workshop. Participation in the meeting, which will be held in FAO's Green Room with ample seating capacity, is free of charge and on the evening of the first day a reception will be offered on the FAO Terrace overlooking ancient Rome.

If it fits your agenda you are all encouraged to come to Rome for this event which is occurring at an important point in time in, among others, the UNSDI development process. Furthermore the workshop is being held immediately following the global food security, climate and bioenergy conference the week before and about which full details in this link http://www.fao.org/foodclimate/

The registration is now open for the workshop. More information will be added to the site but you can see the full agenda and register now. The agenda speaks for itself, the high calibre speakers working towards harmonisation will make this a most educational and productive workshop.

Due to the high interest received for this event we urge you to register as early as possible. Without registration, entry to the workshop will not be possible. Please make sure you register as soon as possible.


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