UN-GGIM may not be familiar to you, but it is the significantly shorter way of referring to the ‘United Nations Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management’. So, ‘GGIM’ from here on.
This article is an update on developments, but first a bit of background to set the context. GGIM was set up by the United Nations in 2011. It is ‘the apex inter-governmental mechanism for making joint decisions and setting directions with regard to the production, availability and use of geospatial information within national, regional and global policy frameworks.’ It aims to ‘address global challenges regarding the use of geospatial information, including in the development agendas, and to serve as a body for global policymaking in the field of geospatial information management’. As such it is of relevant to all of us in the GI world.
The Committee itself is the gathering of the representatives of the UN Member States and there is a whole raft of sub-committees, expert groups and working groups on topics ranging from geodesy to legal and policy issues which work throughout the year.
Left to right: John Kedar (Ordnance Survey), Clare Hadley (Ordnance Survey), Tim Howard (Cabinet Office), David Henderson (Ordnance Survey), and Ian Coady (Office for National Statistics)
The Committee meets once a year to consider reports and to make decisions. Most recently this happened 01 – 03 August in New York. The UK delegation is led by Ordnance Survey (of GB) and this year we had colleagues from the Cabinet Office, ONS and UKHO with us. With 20 agenda items over 3 days with 2 days of side meetings as well, it was a full-on week. As in previous years, AGI were invited to comment on the papers beforehand and contribute to the briefing for the UK delegation.
The UK is well-regarded within GGIM. We held the co-chair-ship for 4 years early in the life of the Committee, led the working group on fundamental data themes for the last 3 years and are active in several groups. We also collated and edited two editions of a publication called ‘Future Trends’.
The formal report of this year’s meeting will be published on the GGIM website in due course. There were no particularly contentious issues and the various papers and reports submitted to the Committee were endorsed. It was nice to see that the majority of our contributions during the meeting were reflected in the draft summary report.
Key developments from the meeting:
So, there is plenty going on in GGIM. In addition to the topics above UK is also active in groups on the global geodetic reference framework, integration of statistics with geospatial data, marine geospatial information, land administration and management, standards, national institutional arrangements, geographical names, geospatial information for monitoring the SDGs, and geospatial information for disasters.
If you have any queries about UN-GGIM, or would like to know more, please do get in touch.