"The Global Geodetic Reference Frame (GGRF) Roadmap will be built with passion and involvement," says Working Group co-chair Gary Johnston from Australia.
In February 2015, the UN General Assembly adopted its first geospatial resolution – ”A global geodetic reference frame for sustainable development” – recognizing the importance of a globally-coordinated approach to geodesy.
Momentum for GGRF
"The momentum the adoption of this resolution has created will position the global geodetic community well for the complex task ahead, developing a roadmap for GGRF enhancement", says Johnston
Significant response rate
After the UN General Assembly adopted the resolution on 26 February a global questionnaire was sent to Member States for the purpose of gathering opinions on the key elements of the GGRF and its sustainability. The survey resulted in 92 responses from 84 countries, a significant response rate.
Governmental commitment is key
The survey reports that the key elements to achieving a sustainable GGRF are governmental and country commitment and funding, common standards, and international obligations. The most important key elements reported for development of the GGRF are to maintain and build infrastructure, common standards and internationally coordinated policies.
Joint international governance
"The survey clearly identifies that a joint international governance effort is needed in order to meet the objectives of the GGRF resolution. It does not however give any details as to how this can best be achieved. The Working Group will test some ideas and concepts for possible governance arrangements", Johnston explains.
Final roadmap in August 2016
In August 2015, the UN Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM) requested the Working Group to continue its efforts, building on global and regional experiences and initiatives, and report back to the Committee at the next session, in August 2016.
Involvement and consultations
"We are in the process of developing the first draft roadmap by mid December this year. The involvement of UN-GGIM regions and consultation with IAG, FIG, GEO and CEOS is in progress and is important for the final outcome. The first draft will be sent out for comments in January, says Johnston.
Outcomes of roadmap
The roadmap will address five broad issues: Governance, Infrastructure, Policy - standards and conventions, Education - training and capacity building, Communication and outreach.
"Five groups with lead authors are now working on the first draft. The roadmap will have strong cross references to the operational paragraphs from the UN General Assembly resolution," says Gary Johnston.
Learn more: http://unggrf.org
Follow the GGRF Working Group on twitter: @unggrf