OGC and Eye on Earth Summit

Next week a global event is taking place in the Middle East, specifically in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. It’s called the Eye on Earth Abu Dhabi 2011 Summit and Exhibition and it takes place at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) from 12th to 15th December.  The goal is to bring together world experts to facilitate greater access to environmental and societal data to help achieve sustainable development especially for emerging economies.

The OGC is involved in many ways. OGC Board Member Professor Jacqueline McGlade from the EEA will be speaking, as will Jack Dangermond from OGC Principal Member Esri and Rebecca Moore from OGC Principal Member, Google.
I will participate in a discussion panel on Network of Networks with some esteemed industry colleagues -Erik van Praag, GeoSUR, Paul Cheung, UNSD and Alessandro Annoni, JRC, European Commission. This topic will be introduced by Jose Achache, Secretariat Director, GEO and moderated by Harlan Onsrud, GSDI Association; both OGC Alliance Partners. The panel takes place on Wednesday 14th December at 5 15pm.  The goal of the panel is to share best practices on how information and networks of information will play an essential roll for exploiting the growing potential of Earth observations to support decision making in an increasingly complex and environmentally stressed world.

OGC members EEA, CSIRO, GPC and Rob Starling, Independent Consultant and OGC staff, notably David Arctur, have been involved in several of the Technical Working Groups, as well as contributing significantly to Special Initiatives around Water Security, Disaster Management and Network of Networks. I had the privilege of working on the Eye on Earth Summit Framework Committee.

Other OGC members including ADSIC, EEA, Esri, GeoEye, Google and Microsoft will also be speaking and manning booths at the Eye on Earth Abu Dhabi 2011 Summit and Exhibition.  The goal is to draw attention to the gap that exists between the need for better information about the environment and the efforts being made to address the issue. The Summit will call on decision-makers worldwide to include data and its access in their development initiatives. The key outcome will be the adoption of an Eye on Earth Summit Declaration, which will provide input to the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in June 2012 (Rio+20). Hopefully, open standards can support key elements of this activity.

The Eye on Earth Abu Dhabi 2011 Summit and Exhibition is hosted by the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD), facilitated by Abu Dhabi Global Environmental Data Initiative (AGEDI) and held in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). It would be unfair to single out any one person from the organizing team, but it’s fair to say that a great number of people have worked tirelessly to put this global event together and to really challenge the status quo.

The event was made possible through the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates and Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) under H.H Sheikh Hamdan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler's Representative of the Western Region and Chairman of EAD. I hope to bring the EAD into the OGC as members in 2012. Abu Dhabi Systems & Information Centre (ADSIC) and the Abu Dhabi Police (ADP), GIS Center for Security have joined the OGC recently. More to follow on this regional news in a future posting…