Conference topic

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Section 1: EU initiatives, directives and programs for integrated usage of geographical and satellite data.

There is a wide consensus across Europe about the need to make available more reliable and more timely information to support environmental decisions, both in the planning stage (at the different time scales, from years to decades) and in the day-to-day management, including emergencies. Information sources from satellites play a crucial role and will be more and more widely available. The GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security) initiative is already delivering a number of services, while the satellite navigation system EGNOS is operational and GALILEO constellation will be ready soon. On the other end, EU is challenged to reach a real interoperability of geographical information and data sharing, through the implementation of the INSPIRE Directive, for supporting, in an appropriate legislative and technical framework, policies and activities with direct or indirect impacts on the environment. In addition, some initiatives like SEIS (Shared Environmental Information System) or EMODNET (European Marine Observation and Data Network) are supporting a reliable collection of data and information and accessibility. However, the integrated usage of the data provided by satellites in conjunction with geographical and environmental data collected in situ, is not fully discussed and deepened in all its implications. In the conference, the relevant experiences and the promising innovative solutions and approaches will be discussed.

The following topics are suggested:

  • Co utilisation of GMES and GNSS data experiences
  • Integration of multi-source observations (in-situ and space borne)
  • Interoperability between Inspire, GMES and GEOSS
  • Infrastructure for Spatial Information in the European Community and public authorities
  • Mechanisms for sharing spatial data sets and services between government and other public administrations

Section 2: The role of EU regions and regional end users for exploitation of space data.

A huge amount of data is already provided by satellites watching to the Earth and the new services that are going to be implemented, including high accuracy and high reliability positioning and navigation systems, are offering new opportunities. Are the service providers fully aware of requirements of the end users? Are the end users, especially at regional or local level, fully aware of the space data potential for their specific strategic objectives? Apparently, a general lack of end-user-oriented applications is preventing a full exploitation of the present systems and could prevent the developing of future opportunities, also in terms of market growth. Industry could address its activities in developing more user-related applications and tools?

The following topics are suggested:

  • Role of the European Regions in supporting the" end users" of space technologies
  • National and regional policies on geodata sharing
  • Industry listening to end-user needs for space applications.
  • Space and society: communication of space products towards final users
  • Matching needs and opportunities for Earth Observation at regional level
  • Regional, National and European stakeholders networks
  • Public Participation Geographical applications and Collaborative planning support

Section 3: Data interoperability, including space information: goals, successes and problems.

EU is adopting regulations concerning: i) technical arrangements for the interoperability and the harmonisation of spatial data sets and services, ii) the conditions for the access to such data sets and services, iii) technical specifications and obligations of network services. However, the poor standardisation in geographical datasets, included the satellite data, could be among the reasons of the present difficulties to apply the EU Directives and objectives. In addition, the increase in the dimension of the geographical data is a challenge. Some EU projects dealing with these issues could be considered reliable examples of possible solutions. Which problems still needed to be addressed?

The following topics are suggested:

  • Uses of international/European standards (e.g. ISO, OGC, CEN,): from observation to geo-services
  • Massive data information exchanges, existing tools and prospective
  • SDI, Geospatial Systems and data flow on real time applications
  • Data Usability and Accessibility
  • Common data modelling transformation : tools and methodologies
  • Data Mining and Knowledge Discovery in Geodata field
  • Real time interoperability of data coming from multiple providers, including space

Section 4: Applications, themes and research - new concepts.

The widespread availability of large volumes of new geospatial and space-based information, i.e. observing earth from space and sensed in-situ, allows us to imagine new application scenarios, and to propose new questions. How do we derive Knowledge from these data resources? How can we best use the Geospatial Knowledge deriving from these data resources, e.g. through ‘official’ channels only or by also widening access to unofficial (non-governmental) users? What are possible further themes for research? Which theoretical and technical applications will be needed and most useful for different themes? Does VGI have a role to lay in relation to space data and, if so, what is it?

The following topics are suggested:

  • Spatial and Spatiotemporal Data Modelling and Reasoning, Analysis, and Visualization
  • Applications for the benefit of society and of the environment, e.g. achieving space and in-situ data harmonization, integrating harmonized information into decision making processes
  • Real time observing system(s) from satellite and in-situ platforms and measurements
  • Tools for managing spatial data and information retrieval, e.g. geodesign and web services
  • Virtual atlases and new planning instruments
  • Web services for geodata - examining performance characteristics and practical usability
  • New frontiers in massive web data exchange
  • Space data (mainly ‘official’) and Voluntary Geographic Information (VGI) (‘unofficial’)
  • Location-based services - applications, services and further research;
  • New geosensing opportunities and technologies
  • Re-examining the impact of existing data and information policies on our ability to best use new harmonized, integrated data sources from terrestrial geospatial, space-based and in-situ observations.

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