At the Geospatial World Forum (GWF) in Amsterdam last year, Paul Cheung of the United Nations Initiative on Global Geospatial Information Management (GGIM) voiced the concern about their role that many national mapping agencies and other government organizations with responsibility for geospatial information have had since the advent of Google Map/Earth, private data companies like Digital Globe, Geoeye, TeleAtlas and Navteq, crowd-sourced geospatial data like OpenStreetMap, and open data policies adopted by many governments around the world.
The objective of the UN GGIM initiative is to help government fit into the new world of Google Map/Earth and the rest of the private geospatial industry. Based on the assumption that neither the private sector nor government can do it all, the GGIM has a process in place to define the role of government in managing national geospatial information. It has asked geospatial practitioners around the world to provide guidance on where they see the geospatial industry headed and their views on the roles of government and the private sector.
The Second High Level Forum on Global Geospatial Information Management (GGIM) was convened in Doha, Qatar in February, 2013 by the Secretariat of the United Nations Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM), together with the Government of Qatar.
The Forum bought together 350 participants from 60 Member States, international organizations, the private sector, and UN entities. The discussions centered on building national geospatial information systems, an examination of the technological trends impacting the future of geospatial information management, the challenges experienced and the solutions used to develop geospatial reference data sets, the need to use geospatial information to address sustainable development issues, and UN-GGIM's leadership role in ensuring global geodetic frameworks.
The final declaration of the Forum, the Doha Declaration Advancing Global Geospatial Information Management listed important focus areas for GGIM activities.
- a sustained operational global geodetic reference frame and infrastructure to support the increasing demand for positioning and monitoring applications
- the greater use of geospatial information in sustainable development by supporting the the Global Map for Sustainable Development (GM4SD) with an initial focus on managing risks of natural disasters to urban populations
- an agreed set of authoritative core global reference datasets to support global sustainable development activities
- a stable, credible, and reliable national geospatial information infrastructure in each country built on internationally recognized standards
- more training programs related to geospatial information management at all levels
- regional collaboration in the promotion and development of geospatial information management