The Group on Earth Observations (GEO) convenes in China this week to discuss the creation and coordination of the planetary system of earth observation. The Seventh Plenary Session from Nov. 3-5 in Beijing marks the fifth year of the 10-year implementation plan for the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS).
The GEO meeting includes representatives from 85 governments as well as 58 intergovernmental and international organizations. The international collaborative effort on data gathering and sharing aims to provide decision support tools to a wide variety of users.
This ‘system of systems’ will link existing and planned observing systems around the world and support the development of new systems to fill gaps that exist. It will promote common technical standards so that data from the thousands of different instruments can be combined into coherent data sets. The ‘GEOPortal’ offers a single Internet access point for users seeking data, imagery and analytical software packages relevant to all parts of the globe.
GEOSS will bring together a wide variety of environmental observations, from satellites, from aircraft, from buoys, from ships, from ground sensors, from storm gauges, all into one system, a system of systems in which we can develop an integrated look at the way the earth is changing, how humans are changing in response to environmental change, and how they interact together. The information gathered through GEOSS will help predict everything from climate change and biodiversity loss to floods, forest fires and public health threats.
The societal benefits of GEOSS will include:
Learn more about GEO and GEOSS here.