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May 26, 2017

Perspectives on the Nature of Geospatial Information.

I’m pleased to introduce a special issue of the international journal: “GEO-SPATIAL INFORMATION SCIENCE”, entitled “Perspectives on the Nature of Geospatial Information”.This special edition includes work on Sustainable Development, Earth Observation and Geospatial Information, authored by Barbara Ryan, GEO Secretariat Director and Greg Scott, Advisor on Global Geospatial Information Management in the United Nations Statistics Division.

In the GEO review paper, I read with interest how Earth observations (EO) inform, locate and provide context for research and policy making to achieve sustainable societies. As well as investigating the role of the Group on Earth Observations to support countries to monitor and achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development through building GEOSS, the paper also identifies gaps and challenges.

GEO works to promote access and use of open data for sustainable development, as well as seeking to address difficulties locating quality cross-national time series data, particularly Land Cover change. The paper looks at how Earth observations respond to metadata requirements in SDG Indicators and Targets, especially Goal 2, Hunger; Goal 11, Cities; and Goals 14 and 15 on Ecosystems. Use of EO to measure and achieve these goals introduces the ability to visualize the data, which in turn allows decision-makers to identify solutions. Harnessing investments in EO as well as investments in the science-policy interface lead to more accurate data and information, better knowledge and improved decision-making so that ‘no one is left behind’, the basic principle of the 2030 Agenda.

In this special issue, we have included major contributions of the leading geospatial information science practitioners and organizations that have shaped this dynamic field. There are 13 papers by authors from many countries. Papers focus on policy, at the global and national levels and perspectives on the technical, educational, commercial, industrial, security, scientific perspectives on the nature of geospatial information, as well as on geo-spatial standards issues, in addition to some application examples.” All papers are freely downloadable, as the journal is Open Access.

This Special Issue of the journal is available here:


John van Genderen

About the author:

Professor John van Genderen completed his Ph.D. in Remote Sensing in 1972, the year that the first LANDSAT was launched,and has been working in Earth Observation ever since. He has carried out projects in more than 140 countries all around the world. He has worked for remote sensing companies in U.K., Belgium, USA and the Netherlands, before returning to the ITC in 1986. There he was Professor of "Operationalization of Remote Sensing Applications" until his retirement. Since then he is Emeritus Professor at various Universities in Asia. He may be reached at:

Professor ( Em.) Dr.J.L.van Genderen
Department of Earth Observation Science
Faculty of Geoinformation Science and Earth Observation(ITC)
University of Twente, P.O.Box 217,7500 AE Enschede, The Netherlands;Tel: +31-53-4874444; fax: +31-53-4874400; Mobile tel.: +31-615884037