The United Nations took another magnificent step towards creating a sustainable world in 2015 with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Agenda aims at achieving 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) addressing almost all societal, economic and environmental issues impacting the sustainability of our modern global society. Now once the goals have been adopted, attention is being shifted towards their implementation, monitoring, and evaluation.
For measuring the progress of the goals, geospatial technology plays a vital role. It helps in data management, analysis and understanding, enhanced collaboration, sustainable design and planning and informed decision-making.
Measuring and Monitoring the SDGs
The United Nations World Geospatial Information Congress (UNWGIC), by providing a unique platform for discussions on measuring and monitoring the SDGs, among governments, non-governmental organizations, academic and research institutions and the private sector, is looking forward to helping the geospatial community to understand how the different components of it can work together to advance the potential and usefulness of geospatial information for bringing Sustainable Development in Action.
Smart, Resilient and Sustainable Societies
The world is moving towards smart, resilient and sustainable societies and geospatial technology is a key enabler in bringing these cities into action. Whatever is built in a smart city has to be right and to build right, a right plan, which is sustainable is needed. This requires accurate, concise and detail data and here comes the role of geospatial technologies, which provide the underlying foundation and ultimately the fabric upon which smart solutions can be built. It provides location, which allows pinpointing exactly on the need so that better solutions can be applied to it.
At the UNWGIC, as the stakeholders of the industry participate in the sessions around building smart, resilient and sustainable societies, network, and explore opportunities to collaborate, several ideas for Growing the Global Geospatial Capability and Capacity will emerge. These ideas, when implemented in the near future will enable development of smarter, citizen-centric cities.
Digital Silk Road and International Partnerships
China is prepared to take digital transformation to a new level with the Digital Silk Road. The belt and road initiative will encompass quantum computing, nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, Big Data and cloud storage. Eventually, it would involve helping other countries to build digital infrastructure and develop Internet security. With this initiative, China is aiming to extend coverage of its home-grown satellite-navigation system to the 60-plus countries along the belt and road. By 2020 China aims to compete directly with America’s Global Positioning System (GPS), and expand its services globally with a network of 35 satellites.
As the UNWGIC invites leaders of the industry from different parts of the world, the enriching interactions on how to have more engaging international partnerships will shorten the path from ideation to implementation of the Digital Silk Road.
Digital Economy, Location Analytics and Big Data
Everything around us is getting digitized. Digital transformation is gaining momentum and location analytics and big data are playing a vital role in bringing in this change. Almost everything exists at a particular time and location. It could be objects like raw materials, products, facilities, people like employees, agents, customers or events like deliveries, purchases, production runs. By understanding how these elements relate to one another through locational analytics, both the private and the government sectors can make more informed decisions that can improve both efficiency and effectiveness.
The UNWGIC is all set to enable the governments and businesses world over to gain more insights on using the power of location analytics and Big Data for more effective outcomes. As the who’s who of the industry come together on this engaging platform, the ideas so generated will bring in digital transformation in the world at a much faster pace, thereby paving way for a more sustainable world.
Geospatial Innovation, Science and Technology
Innovation is key to progress. To meet the changing needs, the geospatial technologies need to continuously innovate and UNWGIC’s theme of geospatial innovation, science and technology is apt to encourage the participants to think beyond the mundane and come up with more efficient products and solutions that make the accomplishment of SDGs easier and faster.
The UNWGIC is an excellent initiative of the UN-GGIM in collaboration with the Government of China through the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Government of Zhejiang Province of China. The Congress through its exclusive theme-based exhibitions, global and regional meetings, workshops and learning events, side events and meetings will enable the participants to garner enhanced understanding and knowledge of application of geospatial technologies to address local, regional and global challenges and work towards achieving development for all.
All the geospatial professionals from governments, non-governmental organizations, academic and research institutions and the private sector are encouraged to register and thereby participate in the UNWGIC and contribute to the program, so as to work together to advance the potential and usefulness of geospatial information for sustainable development.