PLANETARY SYSTEMS MODELLING | The International Society for Digital Earth (ISDE) is writing a new Vision 2020 statement to be released at its 7th Symposium in Perth 23-25 August 2011.

An international working group, chaired by geospatial scientists Professor Mike Goodchild (US) and GUO Huadong (China), recently met in Beijing to discuss how to interpret and incorporate emerging technologies for online monitoring of the planet’s complex environmental systems and human interactions.

Set up in the early 2000s, following a speech promoted via United States Presidential candidate Al Gore in 1998, the ISDE is the global peak organisation of space scientists and agencies. Working with other international specialist groups, it aims to help governments collaboratively manage and accelerate the ‘SimPlanet’ project that was first commercialised by Google Earth in 2005.

The ISDE is one of four main partners in the Digital Earth | Nations | Cities technology network now emerging in response to the 2009 Copenhagen Accord’s clause 11 proposal for a Technology Mechanism to accelerate climate change solutions. Other partners include the Metropolis World Association of Major Metropolises, the UN-HABITAT World Urban Campaign and the Global Spatial Data Infrastructure Association.

Involving research experts in remote sensing, satellite monitoring, geospatial mapping and intelligent imaging systems, the ISDE now aims to broaden its professional membership and public support.

Professor Mike Goodchild

Mike Goodchild said: ‘Our charge is to build forward to 2020, anticipating the technologies that will be available then, the needs people will have and the data that will have been collected.’

Members of the working group are Drs Alessandro Annoni, Massimo Craglia and Martino Pesaresi of the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre in Ispria, Italy; Dr John van Genderen and Professor Kees de Bie of the University of Twente’s ITC research centre in Enschede, Netherlands; Professor WANG Changlin of CEODE, Beijing; Richard Simpson of the Nextspace innovation group, Auckland, New Zealand; Dr Peter Woodgate of the Spatial Information research centre, Melbourne, Davina Jackson from the UN-HABITAT World Urban Campaign steering committee, Sydney, Professor BIAN Ling of the University of Buffalo, Colorado; Dr Remetey-Fültipp Gábor from the Hungary Association for Geoinformation and Professor Manfred Ehlers of the Universitaet Osnabrueck, Germany.