Earth Observations and Geospatial Information: Supporting Official Statistics in Monitoring the SDGs (March 2016)
In adopting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, world leaders agreed that a global indicator framework would be an essential tool to measure, monitor and report progress on achieving the 17 transformational Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 associated Targets. They also recognized the critical importance of "transparent and accountable scaling-up of appropriate public-private cooperation to exploit the contribution to be made by a wide range of data, including earth observation and geospatial information, while ensuring national ownership in supporting and tracking progress".
To track progress towards these Goals and Targets, the global indicator framework will also need to capture the multifaceted and ambitious aspirations for the continued development of nations and societies. Effective reporting of progress toward these indicators will require the use of multiple types of data, both what we have in hand - traditional national accounts, household surveys and routine administrative data – and new sources of data outside the national statistical system, namely Earth observation and geospatial information, and Big Data, in general.
The Value of Open Data Sharing (November 2015)
The Members and Participating Organizations of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) make their Earth observation and environmental data available through the GEO Global Earth Observing System of Systems (GEOSS) portal. The preferred approach of the organization is to provide open access and unrestricted use to those data through the GEOSS Data-CORE (Collection of Open Resources for Everyone). This approach has not been adopted by all the GEO participants, despite the call for even greater openness that is promoted by the revised GEO Data Sharing Principles for next decade.
The report was produced by CODATA specifically at the request of the GEO Secretariat in order to summarise arguments in favour of broad and open data sharing.
AfriGEOSS: Building on Success (Nov 2014)
The development and uptake of Earth observation (EO) data, information and knowledge is critical to improving the socio-economic status of the African continent. The Group on Earth Observations (GEO) Member States and Participating Organizations in Africa recognize the need to improve and coordinate observation systems across the nine GEO Societal Benefit Areas of agriculture, biodiversity, climate, disasters, ecosystems, energy, health, water and weather. Strong advocacy of open data-sharing policies and practices, as well as for the increased use of EO data and information, are the foundation of moving forward in these vital areas. Similarly, focusing significant effort on building both human and technological capabilities will ensure that all parts of the African continent can benefit from better access to, and understanding and use of, EO data, information and services. Click on the image on the right to download the report.
Report on Progress 2011-2013 (2014)
GEO Members and Participating Organizations continue to improve
and coordinate observation systems across the nine Societal Benefit
Areas of agriculture, biodiversity, climate, disasters, ecosystems,
energy, health, water and weather. The organization is a strong
advocate for broad, open data-sharing policies and practices, as
well as for the increased use of Earth observation (EO) data and
information. Further, GEO continues to focus significant effort on
building both human and technological capabilities to ensure that all
parts of the world can benefit from better access to, understanding,
and use of EO data, information and services. Click on the image on the right to download the report.
GEO Fact Sheet (2014)
For developed and developing nations battling drought and disease, emergency managers making evacuation decisions, farmers making planting choices, companies evaluating energy costs, and coastal communities concerned about sea-level rise, there is a vital global and regional need to get ahead of the curve - to provide new analytical tools, access to timely data, and forecasts about emerging threats that enable wise choices in a changing world.
For nearly a decade, the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) has been driving the interoperability of many thousands of individual space-based, airborne and in situ Earth observations around the world. Often these separate systems yield just snapshot assessments, leading to critical gaps in scientific understanding. GEO is addressing such gaps by providing easy, open access to organized observations that enable an increasingly integrated view of our changing Earth. For sound science to shape sound policy, leaders and other decision-makers require this fuller picture as an indispensable foundation of sound decision-making. The flyer can be downloaded by clicking on the image on the left.
The Group on Earth Observations (GEO) has sponsored two print runs of the D_City manifesto: the world's first comprehensive 'snapshot' report on efforts to create a networked environmental monitoring system. Click on the image to access this publication as an e-book.
Geneva Ministerial Summit flyer (2014)
The "Geneva Ministerial Summit flyer" provides an exerpt of recent GEO achievements that use analytical tools, to access timely data, and forecasts emerging threats that enable wise choices in a challenging world. The GEO achievements decsribed, address several societal challenges, as well as build technical capacity, develop information infrastructure and standards, and provide better access to data. The flyer can be downloaded by clicking on the image on the left.
"Crafting geoinformation: the art and science of Earth observation" takes the reader behind the scenes to watch how environmental data is gathered, processed, integrated and transformed into information for decision making. This full-color, image-driven publication was launched at the Beijing Ministerial in November 2010 and can be downloaded by clicking on the image on the right.
GEO Report on Progress
The GEO "Report on Progress" provides an overview of the advances made by GEO from 2005 through 2010 in launching and developing the Global Earth Observation System of Systems, or GEOSS. It includes brief descriptions of the contributions made to GEOSS by hundreds of government agencies and national and international agencies and organizations. The report can be downloaded by clicking on the image on the left.
“Observing the Earth and monitoring its host of complex
systems is a role no one organization masters. GEO is
providing the structure and opportunity for governments
and organizations to actively seek better solutions for our
GEOSS as an emerging public infrastructure could prove
as essential to economic and social progress in the 21st
century as new transport and communications systems
were in the 20th.” José Achache,
GEO Secretariat Director. Read the GEO brochure
GEO Information Kit
The GEO Information Kit is a collection of information sheets published in February 2008. The first two introductory sheets describe
the Group on Earth Observations, and the “system of systems”, or GEOSS, that it is constructing. The next nine sheets explain the “Societal Benefit Areas”, or SBAs, which provide a convenient
reference-frame for understanding GEO and GEOSS. None of these areas, of course,
exists in isolation: much of the value of GEOSS lies in its ability to integrate information across
disciplines. This collection therefore concludes with several sheets on issues that cut across, and are
relevant to, all of the Societal Benefit Areas. Read the GEO Information Kit.
The Full Picture
Launched in November 2007, the Full Picture is a full-colour publication detailing
selected Early Achievements and
other Earth observation projects
and services. You can download "The
Full Picture" by clicking on
the image on the left.
The First 100 Steps to GEOSS
The Early Achievements that governments
and organizations had contributed
to GEOSS as of 2007 have each been summarized
in a two-page brief and collected
in a document entitled “The First 100 Steps to GEOSS”.