What is Digital Earth?
Digital Earth is a virtual representation with vast amount of natural and cultural information about the earth, which is spatially referenced, in digaital archives. It is represented as an “Earth Metaphor” reconstructed in a virtual world connected via the internet.
Al Gore, the former vice president of the United States of America,proposed this vision in 1998.It was aimed for future generations to explore what is occurring on the Earth by developing tools and databases.
Now there is the “Digital Earth”, which attempts to figure out the environmental systems of the Earth to predict and model the future, as a big science. “Digital Earth” can provide the infrastructure on the ubiquitous computing environment.
History of the International Symposium
The symposium roots back to 1999, when the 1st Symposium was hosted in China. This was the year after Al Gore, Vice President of the United States of America, proposed the “Digital Earth Vision- Understanding Our Planet in the 21st Century. The Chinese Academy of Science (CAS) made significant contributions at this initiative as they had approximately 500 participants from 20 countries. In the closing ceremony, the Beijing Declaration on Digital Earth” was adopted, which emphasized the necessity of Digital Earth and called for more future developments at a global level.
The 2nd Symposium was held in Canada in June 2001. As it was organized jointly with 4 other events, approximately 700 people participated from 30 countries. Also 60 exhibitors were there. They presented their visions on “Digital Earth”, technologies, and initiatives, which were pulled from the theme “Beyond the Infrastructure”.
On September 2003, the 3rd Symposium was held in the Czech republic. The theme was “Information Resources for Global Sustainability”.
More than before, Internet GIS was featured as a key technology, but at the same time practical applications to share knowledge in the society were introduced.
In March 2005, the Symposium will be held in Japan for the first time. Not only national and international researchers and educators, but also governments, NGOs, and the general public from 30 countries and 600 people are expected to attend.
The 4th International Symposium on Digital Earth will be held at Roppongi Hills, Minto-ku,Tokyo, Japan from Monday, March 28 to 31, 2005. The International Society for Digital Earth-Japan (ISDE-Japan) and the GIS Association will serve as the host, while the Keio Research Institute at SFC is the co-host. The expected attendance is around 3000, of which 200 from overseas. Around 20 exhibitors are expected to be present.
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