Understanding the Earth system-its weather, climate, oceans, atmosphere, water, land, geodynamics, natural resources, ecosystems, and natural and human-induced hazards-is crucial to enhancing human health, safety and welfare, alleviating human suffering including poverty, protecting the global environment, reducing disaster losses, and achieving sustainable development. Observations of the Earth system constitute critical input for advancing this understanding.
Interested countries and organizations have collaborated to develop this Plan to ensure comprehensive and sustained Earth observations. It builds on and adds value to existing Earth observation systems by coordinating their efforts, addressing critical gaps, supporting their interoperability, sharing information, reaching a common understanding of user requirements and improving delivery of information to users.
1. Purpose of this Plan
The purpose of this Plan is to summarize the essential steps to be undertaken, over the next decade, by a global community of nations and intergovernmental, international, and regional organizations, to put in place a Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS).
2. Vision for GEOSS
The vision for GEOSS is to realize a future wherein decisions and actions for the benefit of humankind are informed by coordinated, comprehensive and sustained Earth observations and information.
The Eye on EARTH: A Game Design Contest at DigiPen Institute of Technology
If you had a teenage son or daughter, how would you teach them in the importance of Earth systems information and Global Earth Observation Systems of Systems? Would you have them read a newspaper? Watch the news? Attend class? How about having them WANT to learn about Earth observation and systems from playing a computer “game”? Well, that’s the aim of “The Eye on EARTH”. The IEEE and DigiPen Institute of Technology (DigiPen) are working together to create a means for a greater understanding of the availability and benefits of Earth systems information, and its impacts to help mitigate and/or solve world problems in the 9 societal areas of: water conservation, energy, weather systems, climate fluctuations, ocean/ecosystem preservation, agriculture, disaster relief/response, health, and biodiversity.
In the game design contest, global participants (initial phase to be conducted by DigiPen) will design a computer game that enables players to use Earth systems information to make decisions requiring significant tradeoffs. This will challenge the user to optimize multiple society benefits within resource constraints using Earth data and information, as well as other factors. The winner is the player that provides the most benefits within the resource constraints. Although we use the word “game”, the intent is to create a sophisticated simulation, employing similar concepts that are used in simulation gaming, but with the addition of real time data and information as available.