Openly shared robust spatial data can make a huge contribution to the better understanding and management of many of the world’s most complex challenges.
Spatial information and technologies have helped us realise that our planet is finite and vulnerable. Importantly spatial information, more than any other type of information, has the capacity to facilitate engagement of all peoples, regardless of language, level of education and geographic location.
With the coming revolution in new satellite capability, the world and its citizens will increasingly be connected in ways we have to date not even dreamt of. There is an opportunity now to harness this emerging capability through globe developments for the benefit of society, the health and well-being and development aspirations of communities, and the sustainability of scarce global resources both now and into the future.
To realise this opportunity, partnerships will be needed spanning scientists, visionaries, managers and funders. An open sharing of data will be required, and technological innovation to support the linkage of such spatial data to decisions that can improve human health, risk management, sustainable development and ecosystem resilience.
There have been extraordinary developments in globe technologies in recent years. The Open Digital Earth Foundation hopes to facilitate the application of further globe developments for widespread societal benefit.
Dr Peter Woodgate
Open Digital Earth Foundation Board
27 March 2015