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Promoting the network

D_City is promoting the emerging movement to apply Earth observation and geospatial systems to help solve the challenges of 21st century development. Read our manifesto.

The overall vision is to create a dynamic, data-rich computer system to monitor interconnected behaviours around the planet.

Officially titled the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), this massive, long-term project is managed by the G8-supervised, UN-aligned Group on Earth Observations (GEO) in Geneva.

D_City is encouraging GEOSS-relevant projects via our manifesto subtitled: Digital Earth | Virtual Nations | Data Cities. We particularly support development of new online systems for planning, developing and understanding cities.

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Benefits of the concept

      > Help governments, academics, citizens and corporations to co-operate on eco-solutions

> Help solve urbanisation challenges and markets worth trillions each year

> Broker links between natural, built and virtual environment specialists

> Educate next generation urban professionals about the GEOSS/Digital Earth project to help understand and balance our planet’s resources

> Expand global urban business opportunities for smart people everywhere

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A quick history of advances

1992 US Vice Presidential candidate Al Gore forecast the Digital Earth: a global computer data systems network to help understand and manage environmental systems via satellite images.
2000 After Al Gore lost his campaign for the United States Presidency, the International Society for Digital Earth was set up by remote sensing scientists, led by Professor Lu Yongxiang at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing.
2005 The G8 nations launched in Geneva the intergovernmental Group on Earth Observations (GEO), with a 10 year plan to establish the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS). GEO begins another 10 year plan in 2015.
2005 United States internet search corporation Google launched Google Earth, the world’s first online geospatial atlas.
2008 The Barcelona and Paris-based Metropolis major cities association supported the Sydney launch of the Australian government-sponsored D_City project to ‘catalyse’ a global digital cities network.
2009 More than 120 nations supported the Copenhagen Accord, brokered by the United Nations’ Framework Convention on Climate Change, which promised a ‘Technology Mechanism’ to accelerate climate change solutions. The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) now is establishing in Copenhagen a Climate Technology Centre to support technology transfers to developing countries.
2009 IBM launched its global Smarter Planet campaign, followed by a conference in Tokyo to highlight smarter cities.
2012 The Paris-based International Council for Science (ICSU) announced a Future Earth vision, backed by the Belmont Forum of international research funding agencies.
2012 The D_City project, now supported by the digital cities working party of the International Society for Digital Earth, published the world’s first comprehensive ‘snapshot’ report explaining the ‘Digital Earth | Virtual Nations | Data Cities’ (GEOSS) movement. First printings of the report were sponsored and adopted by GEO in 2013.
2013 Geographic systems corporation Esri launched a video exhibition updating US information expert Richard Saul Wurman’s 1963 ‘Urban Observatories’ concept to visualise datasets about diverse cities on same-scale maps. Urban Observatories became a UN-Habitat-supported program in the 2000s.