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Eighth Plenary Session of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO-VIII)

(16-17 November 2011 - Istanbul, Turkey)



Click here to show content VENUE / LOCATION

Istanbul Congress Center (ICC)

Taşkışla Cad., Harbiye, Şişli - Istanbul, Turkey

The GEO-VIII Plenary and Exhibition will take place at the İstanbul Congress Center (ICC). The ICC is located in the heart of İstanbul, which is becoming one of the world’s leading congress centers. The building is designed to add value to the city’s social life. İstanbul Congress Center is very close to İstanbul’s historic and tourism centers, and the natural beauties of the Bosphorus are just one step away.

The Congress Center is also walking distance to the Talimhane Hotel district in Taksim. National and international participants in GEO-VIII will be pleased to have the chance to visit all the wonders of the city while also satisfying their professional expectations and needs.

See location in Google Maps

Click here to show content PLENARY HOST

Logo of The Scientific and Technological Research Council of TurkeyThe Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK) is the leading agency for managing, funding and conducting research in Turkey. It was established in 1963 with a mission to advance science and technology, conduct research and support Turkish researchers. The Council is an autonomous institution and is governed by a Scientific Board. TÜBİTAK acts as an advisory agency to the Turkish Government on scientific and research issues, and it is the secretariat of the Supreme Council for Science and Technology (SCST), Turkey's highest S&T policy-making body. TÜBİTAK not only supports innovation, academic and industrial R&D studies but also, in line with national priorities, develops scientific and technological policies and manages R&D institutes that carry on research, technology and development studies. Furthermore, TÜBİTAK funds research projects carried out in universities and other public and private organizations; conducts research in strategic areas; develops support programs for the public and private sectors; publishes scientific journals, popular science magazines and books; organizes science and society activities; and supports undergraduate and graduate students through scholarships. More than 3,000 researchers work in the 15 different research institutes of TÜBİTAK, where contract research as well as targeted and nation-wide research is conducted. For more information please visit

Click here to show content ADVANCE REGISTRATION  

GEO-VIII registration is closed .

Click here to show content WEEK AT A GLANCE
last updated on 15 November 2011 - 14h00 UTC


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  November 2011
Time Event Venue / Remarks
Mon 14 10h00-13h00 2nd meeting of the Executive Committee's Post-2015 Working Group Beylerbeyi-2 Hall
15h00-18h00 23rd Executive Committee Meeting (in camera) Beylerbeyi-2 Hall
13h00-18h00 18th Architecture & Data Committee meeting Beyazit Hall
08h30-12h00 User Interface Committee meeting Maçka Hall
Tue 15 09h00-18h00 23rd Executive Committee Meeting Beylerbeyi-2 Hall
PM GEO-VIII Exhibition Usküdar Hall
08h30-18h00 User Interface Committee meeting Tophane Hall
09h00-18h00 EGIDA Advisory Maçka Hall
09h00-18h00 18th Architecture & Data Committee meeting Beyazit Hall
13h00-17h00 EnerGEO Workshop Hamidiye Hall
18h00-19h30 Americas Caucus Beylerbeyi-1 Hall
Wed 16 09h00-18h00 GEO-VIII Plenary Session Emirgan Hall
09h00-15h00 EGIDA Subtask Meeting Tophane Hall
10h00 GEO-VIII Exhibition (official opening) Usküdar Hall
18h30-20h00 GEO-VIII Reception ICC - B1 Foyer
10h00-16h00 EnerGEO Workshop Hamidiye Hall
16h00-16h30 African Regional Caucus Maçka Hall
16h00-16h30 Asia/Oceania Caucus Beyazit Hall
Thurs 17 08h30-16h00 GEO-VIII Plenary Session Emirgan Hall
09h00-18h00 GEO-VIII Exhibition Usküdar Hall
16h30-18h00 EuroGeoSurveys meeting Beylerbeyi-2 Hall
11h00-13h00 GEOSS AIP-4 Demos Beylerbeyi-1 Hall
14h30-18h00 GEO Air Quality meeting Maçka Hall
13h00-14h00 End-to-end delivery of environmental information for GEOSS and global citizens (EEA) Beyazit Hall
09h00-18h00 GEO Balkan meeting Istanbul Techn. University
Fri 18 09h00-18h00 GEO Balkan meeting Istanbul Techn. University
Sat 19 09h00-18h00 GEO Balkan meeting Istanbul Techn. University


Click here to show content ON-SITE SECURITY AND BADGES

A security check is required before proceeding to check-in at the registration desk. The registration desk is located in front of Emirgan Hall on floor B2 of the İstanbul Congress Center. At the registration desk you will receive a GEO badge, which you must wear at all times while in the meeting areas and at all GEO-related events.

The registration desk will be open at 14:00 p.m. on 14 November, from 8:00 a.m. to 06:00 p.m. on 15 and 16 November, and from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon on 17 November.

Click here to show content LUNCH AND REFRESHMENTS

Lunch and refreshments will be served at the İstanbul Congress Center. Coffee, tea and cookies will be available during morning and afternoon breaks.

Click here to show content WELCOME RECEPTION

The GEO-VIII Welcome Reception will be held on 16 November 2011 from 18:30 to 20:30. The location of the reception will be communicated in due in time.

Click here to show content DEADLINES
  • Exhibition Area Registration: 5 August
  • Side Event Registration: 5 August
  • Hotel Reservation (Discount): 2 September
  • Delegation Lists to be sent to the GEO Secretariat: 2 - 30 September
  • Visa Application Requests: 30 September
  • Online Registration: 3 - 21 October
Click here to show content EXHIBITION

Exhibit space is available at the İstanbul Congress Center. Please state your interest in having an exhibit, including the exhibit’s theme or focus, by submitting the Exhibition Pre-registration Form to the GEO Secretariat at with a copy to as soon as possible, but no later than 5 August 2011. Detailed exhibit specifications and online ordering will then be made available to secure exhibit services through the exhibit vendor. These services will be made available after 22 August 2011.

Click here to show content SIDE EVENTS

Side Events may be organized in parallel to GEO VIII Plenary. Please inform the Local Organizer ( and the GEO Secretariat ( before 5 August 2011 about your interest in organizing a side event. Detailed information will be provided by the Local Organizer.

Click here to show content ACCOMMODATION  

Hotel rooms have been blocked at the following hotels near the İstanbul Congress Center, with special rates for participants who make reservations before 2 September 2011. Most of the hotels are located in the Talimhane Hotel district (Taksim), which is walking distance to the venue. Rooms will be allocated on a “first come, first served” basis according to availability. Late reservations will be subject to market prices and the availability of rooms. The hotels are listed in the following table:


GEO-VIII hotel list

(*) Discount rates are valid until 2 September 2011

For detailed information on the hotel locations, rates and reservation procedures please refer to the Hotel Reservation Form.

Click here to show content TRANSPORTATION

There are two international airports in İstanbul; one in the European side (İstanbul Atatürk Airport), and the other one in the Anatolian side (Sabiha Gökçen Airport). The distance between the Talimhane Hotel district and the İstanbul Atatürk Airport is 25 km (13 miles) and it takes approximately 30 minutes. The distance between the hotel and Sabiha Gökçen Airport is 50 km (33 miles) and it takes approximately 45 minutes. Most international flights are to the İstanbul Atatürk Airport.

Transfer from Airport to the Hotel:

A. Airport Taxi:

You can take the airport taxi after you exit from the departures hall building of the Airport international terminal. The fare is approximately:

  • Ataturk Airport-Hotel: 50TL (25€)
  • Sabiha Gökçen-Hotel: 80 TL (40€)

B. Airport Shuttle Bus (Havaş):

The Havaş Company operates airport shuttle buses from Airports to Taksim Square. The price of the shuttle bus is around 5 Euros (10 Turkish Liras). Tickets are sold in the bus.

Participants can take these shuttle buses from the departures hall exit and travel to the Havaş Bus Stop at Taksim Square. Please note that there are several other Havas buses from the airport to other destinations in the city. The Talimhane Hotel district is located approximately 100m from the Havaş Bus stop in Taksim Square.

For more information:

Ataturk Airport (Taksim Shuttle Service Info):

Sabiha Gökçen Airport (Taksim Shuttle Service Info):


C. Hotel Shuttle Service:

The easiest and most comfortable way to get to the hotel is the Hotel Shuttle Service between the Airport and the Hotels. Please state your request in the Hotel Reservation Form.

Click here to show content VISA REQUIREMENTS

Participants are advised to verify whether they require a visa for entry into the Republic of Turkey on the following website:

A prepared invitation letter will be sent to participants by the Local Organizer after the necessary information provided. Participants requesting an invitation letter should complete and submit the visa information form before 30 September 2011. Latest entry and health requirements can be obtained from the Embassy of Turkey in your country. The visa information form can downloaded here.

Click here to show content EXCHANGE RATES

The Currency used in Turkey is Turkish Lira (TL). You can exchange money at the airport. There are also many exchange offices in the city open till 18.00. The approximate conversion rates (July 2011) are:

1 US$ = 1,60 TL
1 Euro € = 2,35 TL

For updated currency information see:

Click here to show content CREDIT CARDS

Credit cards are widely accepted at hotels, restaurants and shopping malls. The most popular are Visa and MasterCard.

Click here to show content ELECTRICITY

The electrical supply standard in Turkey is 220V, 50Hz. Wall outlets take continental-style plugs with two round prongs. Adapters for other commonly used plugs will be provided in the meeting rooms.

Click here to show content TIME ZONE

Local time in İstanbul is GMT + 2 hours.

Click here to show content WEATHER

November can occasionally be cold and rainy in İstanbul.

  • Mean Temperature (ºC): 11.4
  • Mean Lowest Temperature (ºC): 8.4
  • Mean Highest Temperature (ºC): 15.0
  • Mean Total Precipitation (kg/m ): 91.7
  • Mean Number of Precipitation Days 13.3:

For daily weather forecasts please visit:

Click here to show content SOCIAL EVENTS and TOURISM

A tourism desk will be in service at the venue. A travel agency will also be available for all enquiries. Short city tours will be available upon request.

Click here to show content CONTACTS

At the GEO Secretariat:

Ms. Natasha Brutsch-Dastur
Programme Manager
Secretariat, Group on Earth Observations (GEO)
Tel: +41 22 730 8317
Fax + 41 22 730 8520


Local Organization :

Mr. Tamer ÖZALP
The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK)
Tel: +90 312 468 53 00 (Ext:4003 or 4414)
Fax: +90 312 427 74 83