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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

GSDI Statement at the GEO announced by President Prof Bas Kok today

GSDI Statement for the GEO Plenary, November 19-20, 2008 as announced by Prof. Bas Kok, President of the Global Spatial Data Infrastructure Association this morning.

"The Global Spatial Data Infrastructure Association (GSDI) is pleased to engage and contribute as a Participating Organization to the Group on Earth Observation and, in particular, to the realization of the Global Earth Observation System of Systems, GEOSS. Currently, more than 80 countries are developing spatial data infrastructures that provide network-enabled access to data, maps, and base imagery, using a common set of standards for metadata, services, and data.. These standards, as well as best practices, are now registered in GEOSS and are critical to its function.

There are three opportunities of collaboration with GEO that the GSDI Association wishes to highlight.

First, countries developing SDIs are being encouraged to register their systems, services, and standards with GEOSS. The GEOSS registries then provide a resource directory for both GEO and GSDI communities.

Second, from an architectural point of view, the GSDI and GEOSS approaches are closely harmonized. To support the architectural approach, the GSDI community has developed a "SDI Cookbook" as a guidance that we offer as resource, and it includes a baseline of SDI-related standards promoting interoperability.

And third, in general, data sharing principles and practices in the SDI community are generally more open than those currently in the earth observation community, but we welcome the implementation of more open data sharing principles being considered within GEO -- principles that should be consistently applied to all earth observations and spatial data.

The GSDI Association will continue to work together with GEO at a technical level, however, we would like to explore the possibility of creating a more strategic alliance. The Association would like to amplify the success of both organizations and seek a similar level of ministerial and executive visibility and support of contributed systems, products, and services through coordinated efforts.

In closing, the next GSDI Conference, GSDI-11, will be held in Rotterdam, Netherlands, the 15th-19th of June 2009. We are proposing a track of presentations on GEO/GEOSS-related activities to demonstrate our common interest and synergies. We are pleased to acknowledge the confirmation of a keynote presentation by the Director of the GEO Secretariat, Dr. Jose Achache. The Association members welcome your attendance and participation in this upcoming biennial international conference. Thank you."

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