Our sustainable future, empowered by the geospatial ecosystem


Project the value, enhance adoption, evolve understanding of geospatial knowledge for social, economic and environmental development in the Digital Age

The ‘Geospatial Way’ is the future. It is the most efficient and effective way to collect, process, integrate and utilize information for overall global, national and individual development. Geospatial Knowledge is the result, enabling us to identify, contextualize and understand the many challenges and opportunities facing society within a geographic context. However, realizing the potential of this future state, particularly for developing countries, requires three key enablers – partnerships, knowledge sharing and capacity building.

With the objective to project the value proposition of Geospatial Knowledge​, forecast its relevance and connectivity with fundamentals of next generation economy and society​ and to redefine the role of stakeholders: government, industry and civil society​, the campaign on Advancing Role of Geospatial Knowledge Infrastructure in World Economy, Society and Environment was launched in January 2020. This is a three-year long project, looking at assessment in a broader frame for the first year, detailed strategy development in the second year and transformation in the third year.


  • Projecting value proposition of Geospatial Knowledge Infrastructure
  • Forecasting its relevance and connectivity with fundamentals of next generation economy and society
  • Evolving collaborative business and functional models
  • Redefining the role of stakeholders: Government, industry and civil society
  • Developing national, regional and global strategies

Key Deliverables

  • Assessment of the prospective roles of geospatial knowledge in global society and economy
  • Advocate, communicate and promote the value and utility of geospatial knowledge infrastructure and enabling technologies for sustainable development
  • Based upon the United Nations Integrated Geospatial Information Framework, enhance global understanding of the methods, guidelines, architectures and policy frameworks for the adoption, utilisation and benefits of geospatial knowledge infrastructure
  • Facilitate collaborative knowledge exchange and engagement to support the development of partnership models for innovative geospatial knowledge infrastructures
  • Enhance human resource capacities by developing and delivering training courses and material

Activities planned 2020


Theme: Mapping our way to 4IR

24 – 25 FEBRUARY | 0700 – 1100 (EST)

A two-day intensive “Geospatial Knowledge Infrastructure Summit” will uncover the concept of Geospatial Knowledge Infrastructure (GKI) - next-gen infrastructure and the evolving role of all stakeholders in powering the future of ‘knowledge services on demand’. It will delve upon the key questions that arise today:

  • What is the growth trajectory of Geospatial Knowledge and future of geospatial infrastructure?
  • Are governments and businesses ready to scale up their geospatial adoption?
  • How does the geospatial community reach into new partnerships across the growing digital world?
  • How does 4th IR influence Geospatial industry and its adoption across user segments?
  • What are the partnership models to deliver the data and geospatial knowledge?
  • What are the paradigm shifts required to enmesh within the wider digital infrastructure?
Advancing Role of Geospatial Knowledge Infrastructure in World Economy, Society and Environment Wednesday, 8 July 2020, 1130 – 1330 hrs UTC

As the world adjusts to new ways of working, living and operating, people across the globe are increasingly valuing the power of ‘where’ or geospatial knowledge. It is this geospatial knowledge that enables governments to make data-based decisions at scale and determine the type of interventions required for different programs, it helps businesses make strategic decisions and plan resource allocation intelligently. Geospatial Knowledge has touched the lives of billions of people across the globe making it more connected and comfortable. What then is the growth trajectory of Geospatial Knowledge? How does the new-age technology, including AI, Big Data Analytics, Cloud Computing, Robotics and Drones influencing Geospatial adoption across user segments? Are governments and businesses ready to scale up geospatial adoption for supporting diversified programs, business outcomes and development goals? What is the paradigm shift required to look at this critical infrastructure from a new light, so that the process of its enmeshment within the digital infrastructure is pervasive?

Geospatial Media and Communications has embarked on a journey with the United Nations Statistics Division and a host of partner organisations from different contexts to define, develop and help countries establish a Geospatial Knowledge Infrastructure. The project aims to bring out the value proposition of Geospatial Knowledge​, forecast its relevance and connectivity with fundamentals of next generation economy and society​ and to redefine the role of stakeholders: government, industry and civil society​. The campaign launched in January 2020 is titled, “Advancing Role of Geospatial Knowledge Infrastructure in World Economy, Society and Environment”.

As part of the outreach activity of the project, Geospatial Media and its partner organizations presents a two-hour intensive webinar to uncover three key topics that will develop your understanding on Geospatial Knowledge Infrastructure.

1130 – 1140 hrs:

Welcome and Remarks on Geospatial Knowledge Infrastructure
Sanjay Kumar, Chief Executive Officer, Geospatial Media and Communications

1140 – 1200 hrs:

Presentation on Geospatial Knowledge Infrastructure: Components, Value and Relevance followed by Q&A
John Kedar, Strategic Advisor - Geospatial Infrastructure Geospatial Media and Communications

1200 – 1230 hrs:

Integration of UN-IGIF and Geospatial Knowledge Infrastructure
United Nations-Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM) has developed the Integrated Geospatial Information Framework (IGIF), which focuses on national geospatial information in its broadest sense. It provides guidance to countries on development of country-specific action plans, based on 9 strategic pathways, to incorporate new and innovative approaches to national geospatial information management. Geospatial Knowledge Infrastructures (GKI) ensures that geospatial data, services and knowledge meet the requirements of tomorrow’s next-generation society, solving tomorrow’s challenges with tomorrow’s tools. GKI builds upon the framework of IGIF, focusing from the user demand perspective, in place of geospatial information supplier perspective. The panel will consider the following questions:

  • How is IGIF aligned with GKI?
  • For countries that have already begun restructuring their institutional arrangements and policies based on IGIF, how can they leverage from GKI?
  • How can countries communicate to their leadership on advantages of integrated IGIF and GKI? How will it benefit their socio-economic development?

Moderator: Dr Derek Clarke, Advisor, World Geospatial Industry Council

Panellists: Rolando Ocampo Alcantar, Statistics Division, Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean United Nations
Dr Zaffar Sadiq Mohamed-Ghouse FRGS FSSSI, Executive Director – Strategic Consulting & International Relations, Spatial Vision, Australia
François Robida, Deputy Head of Division, Information Systems and Technologies, French Geological Survey (BRGM)

1230 – 1300 hrs:

Panel on Spatial Dimension to Data Ecosystem: Foundation to Geospatial Knowledge Infrastructure
The axiom ‘everything happens somewhere’ still stands. Data from all sources must be brought together with the necessary advanced tools, human and machine cooperating to derive knowledge to solve challenges. These needs might be one off, e.g. COVID-19 tracing, or common such as enabling safe automated vehicles on city streets. As geolocation becomes ubiquitous for human and machine, time and place become ever more powerful data attributes.

Understanding of complex problems involves: What? Where? When? Who? How? and Why? Data Ecosystems see several actors interacting with each other to exchange, produce and consume data to create value. Today data ecosystems are driving data and knowledge-based economies. The Spatial Dimension delivers a critical or foundational component in building the power of a Data Ecosystem Analytics can be more nuanced and contextualized, serving Governance, Security and Public Safety, Business Enterprises and Citizens alike. Spatial Dimensions to Data Ecosystem helps to measure value impact and Return-on-Investment, as well as render accountability and transparency in systems. This panel will explore:

  • What are some good practices or examples of data ecosystems that have embraced the spatial dimension?
  • How are the fourth industrial revolution technologies driving change towards Data Ecosystem adoption?
  • What role does national mapping agencies play vis-à-vis the private sector players in this? The role of government in increasing the spatial element of wider data ecosystems

Moderator: Greg Scott, Inter-Regional Advisor, UN-GGIM, United Nations

Panellists: Michael Lutz, Digital Economy, Joint Research Centre
Tan Boon Khai, Chief Executive, Singapore Land Authority
Carl D. Shapiro, Ph.D., Director, Science and Decisions Center, U.S. Geological Survey

1300 – 1325 hrs:

Collaborative Approach Towards Building Geospatial Knowledge Infrastructure
The web is a collaboration by definition, and the hallmark of a knowledge ecosystem is collaboration. Value is created by partnerships that enable data creation, maintenance, exchange, analytics and consumption. Few organizations or businesses work across sensor, data, platform, application and consumer in the knowledge economy. In order to get the most out of a Geospatial Knowledge Infrastructure, the scope of partnerships needs to be broadened to include the entire knowledge value chain, from sensor to citizen. With national geospatial agencies in mind, this panel will discuss:

  • What are some good practices in partnerships for data production across the wider data environment? What are the challenges?
  • We are seeing interesting new ideas in ‘crowd-sourcing’, from vehicle sensors to OSM. How can NGAs form partnerships with citizens to take advantage of these types of idea?
  • What potential partnerships could help move national geospatial agencies up the knowledge value chain?

Moderator: Anamika Das, Vice President – Professional Geospatial Market, Geospatial Media and Communications

Panellists: Basanta Shreshtha, Director of Strategic Cooperation, International Center for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), Nepal
Albert H. Anoubon Momo, Vice President & Executive Director, Emerging Market and Funded Projects, Trimble, USA
Paul Janssen, Geo-standardisation Expert, Social Engineering, Geonovum, The Netherlands

1325 – 1330 hrs:

Closing Remarks

In-Country Roundtables

A select set of 20 countries will be chosen by the partners to hold in-country roundtable meetings with the geospatial ecosystem stakeholders to deep dive into understanding the contexts and readiness for supporting a geospatial knowledge infrastructure. Discussions will revolve around current geospatial data infrastructure, policies, institutional capacities, industrial capacity and user capacity. The roundtable meetings will also explore various possible partnership networks, including government to government, government to private, government to multilateral and private to multilateral agencies.

Apart from the roundtable meetings, the team will also have several other one-on-one meetings as part of the primary inputs for the final report.


Training course on Advancing Role of Geospatial Knowledge Infrastructure in World Economy, Society and Environment will be held at a global scale.


  • To understand the benefits/need for transformation
  • Understand need and components Integrated Geospatial Strategies and Policies
  • Know Innovative approaches and partnership models
  • Improve understanding of Integrated Geospatial Information Framework
  • Better able to communicate value of Geospatial Knowledge
  • Understand on how an up-to-date geospatial knowledge platform would help cater for improved socio-economic growth of the nation

Target Audience

  • National Mapping
  • Earth Observation/Space
  • Spatial Data Infrastructure
  • Land and Cadastre
  • Geological Agencies
  • Hydrographic Survey

Tentative Topics

  • Integrated Geospatial Information Framework (IGIF) and Geospatial Knowledge Infrastructure (GKI)
  • Benefits, Communication and Stakeholder Participation
  • Integrated Geospatial Policy Framework
  • Positioning Infrastructure
  • Data Acquisition and Management Infrastructure
  • Standards for Geospatial Knowledge Infrastructure
  • Managing Transformation
  • Partnerships and Business Models
  • National Inter-Agency, Regional and Global Cooperation
  • Geospatial Knowledge through Innovation Investment
  • Geospatial Knowledge Infrastructure – Integrating new technologies with national priorities
  • Developing a National Geospatial Strategy and Action Plan

Panel on PPP

Mapping/Geospatial agencies have traditionally worked in-house or through specific project contracts to deliver mapping, data and data services. Increasingly geospatial data and its derived geospatial knowledge are core to many aspects of digital society, and single agencies cannot deliver efficiently or effectively on their own. Indeed they may not survive on their own and need to find new business models and partnerships, including those that allow transformation in outputs in resource constrained environments.


  • Understand a range of current business models being employed by mapping and geospatial agencies and their applicability to individual nations.
  • Understand a continuum of public-private partnership models applicable to this sector and the potential benefits and risks of these models.
  • Awareness of opportunities for co-creation of geospatial data and knowledge services.

Key Topics

  • Definitions with a proposed continuum of PPP models that can be populated with Global examples
  • Context (SWOT) with respect to the models or examples enumerated above
  • Scope and Opportunities to co-create within existing models and emerging opportunities based on what the community knows
  • Development of a readiness or maturity model for subsequent use to analyse countries


A state-of-the-art showcase on Geospatial Knowledge Infrastructure will be displayed at GeoSmart India 2020. The display will highlight the concept of Geospatial Knowledge, its relationship with the 4th Industrial Age technologies, including Big Data, Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, Robotics etc. All partners will contribute case studies and good practices revolving around various themes and aspects of GKI highlighting the social, economic and environmental impact of GKI. The aim of the showcase will be to communicate a wholistic vision of Geospatial Knowledge Infrastructure to the larger community, which stimulates innovation around and adoption of GKI.

2020 Report

The final output of the campaign will be a report detailing GKI as a concept:

  • Define GKI and its value proposition
  • Forecast its relevance and connectivity with fundamentals of next generation society
  • Assess the gap areas and develop a Maturity Model
  • Highlight the need for transformation and prescriptive models of transformation
  • Understand the current geospatial readiness of the country
  • Highlight the evolving collaboration and business models

Resource Materials

Program committee members

John Kedar

Strategic Advisor- Geospatial Infrastructure
Geospatial Media and Communications

Greg Scott

Inter-Regional Advisor
United Nations

Anamika Das

Vice President – Professional Geospatial Market
Geospatial Media and Communications

Rob van de Velde

The Netherlands

Matt Harrison

Director - Data
Services and Computational Infrastructure

Carrie Stokes

Chief Geographer and Director of the GeoCenter
US Agency for International Development

Dr Derek Clarke

World Geospatial Industry Council

Francesco Pignatelli

Program Manager
Digital Earth and Reference Data
Joint Research Centre

Dr Zaffar Sadiq Mohamed-Ghouse FRGS FSSSI

Executive Director – Strategic Consulting & International Relations
Spatial Vision

Albert H. Anoubon Momo

Vice President & Executive Director
Emerging Market and Funded Projects
Trimble, USA

Rolando Ocampo Alcantar

Statistics Division
Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean
United Nations

Carl D. Shapiro

Ph.D., Director
Science and Decisions Center
U.S. Geological Survey

Amit Mukherjee

Assistant Professor
International Strategic and Security Studies Programme School of Conflict and Security Studies
National Institute of Advanced Studies

Joseph Seppi, CMS, PMP

Senior Vice President
Geospatial Sector
Woolpert, Inc.

Siau Yong NG

Director - Geospatial and Data
Singapore Land Authority

Ashok Jani

IT at Foundation for Ecological Security

Pradeep Singh

Deputy Director
Survey of India

Basanta Shreshtha

Director of Strategic Cooperation
International Center for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD)


Jointly Organized by



Anamika Das

Vice President