This was the theme of GeoGov Summit, an event that took place in Virginia, United States, from September 6 to 8, 2023. It convened a high-level and forward-looking G2G and G2B forum, as well as experts, academics and personalities from the government of United States to define and improve geospatial strategies.
The main objectives of GeoGov Summit 2023 were:
- Facilitate discussions to understand and estimate the underlying role of geospatial information in the United States economy and society,
- Understand the directions and dimensions of primary user industries and their perspectives and expectations of the government,
- Consider a national approach toward incubation and innovation in advancing location data, applications and supporting infrastructure,
- Explore new avenues for national collaborative governance,
- Recommend and prioritize key strategies and approaches for action.
The focus areas are 3 that were defined with respect to the challenges that the government must face together with companies and users. For example, the priorities of the federal government, which must focus on sound policies for climate change mitigation, the use of geotechnologies for defense and space security. On the other hand, emerging technologies were discussed: 5g, artificial intelligence, digital twins, global positioning systems, navigation and metaverse. At the end, formulation strategies were determined for policies that encompass data sovereignty and privacy, geospatial platforms, and the benefit of public-private partnerships.
“Cadastral surveying and geographic surveying have undergone a tremendous transformation (and rightly so!) from the 19th century to the present day. Since the beginning of the American Industrial Revolution at the end of the 20th century, the United States has remained the birthplace of new technologies. In fact, the world is currently in the midst of what the World Economic Forum calls the “Fourth Industrial Revolution.”
This is a summit presented by the Geospatial World, to be able to have a space where priorities and action plans can be established regarding problems such as climate change, deficiencies in health systems and infrastructure, emergency management and space security. What we want to achieve is to formulate solid policies that provide sovereignty to each State, but that at the same time guarantee human preservation on the planet.
The vision of this event is to be able to provide a future governance approach, always promoting how interoperability and data protection is essential to make correct decisions. And its main theme is “Advancing the nation's geospatial infrastructure in partnership for national development.”
La agenda The GeoGov Summit began with a Pre-conference, where topics such as global strategies for development, the importance of the geospatial workforce, and preparation for the modernization of the National Spatial Reference System were discussed. The main conference began on September 6, with two plenaries on the power of geospatial infrastructure to meet the needs of the nation and the formulation of the national geospatial strategy in the face of changes and challenges.
“Technological advances in the 21st century (including geospatial and IT) are occurring at a phenomenal pace, making it difficult to formulate policies to keep up with the rapid proliferation and adoption of such technologies. “This may have important implications for national security, socioeconomic development, and environmental health.”
For September 7, the focus was on National Geospatial Governance, the advancement of geospatial structures, the contributions of the geospatial industry and the harnessing of innovative technologies, and automation to obtain reliable information. Topics such as smart communities, the construction of a national digital twin, spatial domain awareness, were also taken into account and discussed in depth.
“To mitigate the threats and challenges posed by the adoption of rapidly evolving technology, it is necessary to formulate new forms of regulations that ensure safety, inclusion and accountability.”
The last day, Friday, September 8, will address topics such as the impact of the national geospatial strategy on the global front, climate change to achieve climate resilience, healthcare, industry perspectives on GeoAI.
It will be three days where you will be able to have a more accurate vision of what is really needed, and what already exists but needs to be improved in the geospatial field. It will have speakers and moderators high level, from companies such as Oracle, Vexcel, Esri, NOAA, IBM, or USGS. It is an event where all concerns can be expressed and alliances formed for the benefit of human beings and the planet, expanding the commitment of the public and private sector to create solid national geospatial strategies based on the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI). .
We hope to learn more at the end of the event, including your reports, conclusions, alliances formed, and decisions made that could change the future of Americans. It should be noted that these types of events offer the public the possibility of understanding the decisions that governments make and what they are based on, in addition to creating solid collaborations and professional associations.
“It is crucial that policymakers address the challenges posed by new technologies (which are developed and protected by the private sector) to maintain harmony in society.”
How do geotechnologies contribute to the development and governance of countries?
In several areas, the use of geotechnologies is applied to obtain a better understanding of space. And many of these are applied not only at the private – local level but also at the public level, but what is the importance of the use of geotechnologies for governments, here we list some examples:
- Territorial planning: It is a process that seeks to organize the use of land and space, according to the needs and potential of each region. Geotechnologies facilitate the entire process, providing updated and accurate information on the physical, environmental, social and economic characteristics of a territory. In this way, governments can design public policies that promote sustainable development, territorial equity and citizen participation.
- Natural resource management: It involves the rational use and conservation of natural assets, such as water, soil, biodiversity and minerals. Geotechnologies allow us to identify the location and monitor the state or dynamics of these resources. Therefore, it makes visible the environmental impacts generated by human activities. Thus, governments can establish control, regulation and restoration measures that guarantee the availability and quality of all available resources for present and future generations.
- Disaster prevention and mitigation: Geotechnologies are used to try to reduce the risks and losses associated with natural or anthropogenic events that can affect the population and infrastructure. They help prevent and mitigate these disasters, providing information about the phenomena that cause them, such as earthquakes, floods, or forest fires. With this valuable information, governments can develop risk maps, contingency plans and early warning systems that preserve people's lives and property.
- Security and defense: Geotechnologies support these functions by offering information about the geographic, political and social environment in which military or police operations take place. Governments can plan intelligence, surveillance and control strategies that safeguard national and regional security.
And added to the above, we could say that some of the benefits of the integration of Geotechnologies in public plans and policies are:
- Facilitate the spatial analysis of socioeconomic, environmental and demographic data,
- Optimize the provision of public services, by allowing the monitoring and tracking of infrastructure, resources and citizen demands,
- Strengthen transparency and citizen participation, by offering public access platforms to georeferenced information and consultation and reporting tools,
- Promote economic and social development, by generating opportunities for innovation, cooperation and competitiveness based on knowledge of the territory.
Geotechnologies are fundamental tools for governments, since they allow them to have a comprehensive and updated vision of the territory and its dynamics. Therefore, it is necessary for governments to invest in the development and implementation of these technologies, as well as in the training of technical and professional personnel who use them.
Likewise, we must continue to show the world that the immediate future requires the use of geospatial data, and every day there are more efficient ways to capture and process it. And, it is essential to create spaces where the solutions and technologies that facilitate their access and processing are made visible. The opportunities and challenges offered by the capture and correct management of geospatial data are very broad and contribute significantly to sustainable development, climate change mitigation, and risk and disaster management.