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3rd GEO Data Providers Workshop drives forward global technical cooperation on data for development


15 May 2018

Ambition to improve and increase the impact of the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) is palpable following the success of the largest-ever GEO Data Providers Workshop.

The 3rd annual installment of this important GEO community event brought together Earth Observation data providers and users to improve the way Earth Observation data is managed, communicated, disseminated and used through the GEOSS Platform.

GEOSS Workshop participants
Workshop participants shared technical knowledge and needs that will inform the future of the GEOSS Platform - aimed at ensuring decisions are informed by the best available information about our planet.

The event was hosted at ESRIN, the ESA-establishment in Frascati, Italy, from 2-4 May 2018, and was co-organized by the GEO Secretariat, the European Space Agency (ESA), CNR-IIA, United States Geological Survey (USGS) and the University of Geneva.

The packed workshop agenda reflected the substantial interest in the event, which was attended by nearly twice as many participants as last year. In just 3 days there were over 97 presentations, 26 scientific sessions, 11 training sessions, and a Hackathon. In attendance were 200 participants from more than 130 organizations, 33 countries, and 5 continents.

GEO Secretariat Director Gilberto Câmara
Incoming GEO Secretariat Director Gilberto Câmara of Brazil's INPE spoke on the challenges of turning data into action at the national level. Photo: Steven Ramage / GEO

Presenters showcased the benefits, opportunities and challenges to discover, access and use the 400+ million data and information resources available on the GEOSS Platform. Sessions focused on wide range of several thematic and technical areas, including data management and sharing best practices, making data analysis and application-ready, and optimising Earth observation data for decision making across specific international policy priorities such as the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, the UN Sustainable Development Goals,  and the Paris Climate Agreement.

Dr Zandaryaa Sarantuyaa
Dr Zandaryaa Sarantuyaa (UNESCO - IIWQ) spoke on the importance of EO in support of SDGs Decision Making.

Training sessions immersed participants in the latest GEOSS Platform developments, while a Hackathon challenged developers to create data discovery and access tools that solve global challenges.

Lively discussions at the workshop included exchanges on the potential of the GEOSS Platform to alleviate data preparation and processing burden for users, the role of regional GEOSS initiatives, private sector contributions, and the need for further reporting on users, data download and usage, performance and user satisfaction.

The workshop report, photos presentations and Hackathon submissions will be available shortly on the event website.

You can find out more about the latest evolutions to the GEOSS Platform - which were presented at the 14th Plenary of the Group on Earth Observations - in GEOSS Platform related news.

Note; EDGE, short for European Direction in GCI Enhancements, is contributing to the GEOSS Platform implementation. EDGE receives funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 776136.