Sunday, March 25, 2007

ISDE5 - NextNow and Planetwork

March 21, 2007

Members of the ISDE5 planning team met at the wonderful offices of NextNow in Berkeley. In attendance was Jim Fournier, founder of Planetwork, who lent a hand in reviewing and discussing the event logistics and goals. Jim brought a wealth of hands-on knowledge.

Planetwork explores how the creative application of digital tools – visualization technologies, software, and the Internet, among others – can open new possibilities for positive global change.

Planetwork operates as a convening organization, gathering people from a wide variety of disciplines and vocations – science, technology, activism, business, the arts - creating international forums where people from distinctly different backgrounds can meet, find common ground, inspire each other, wrestle with and envision answers to solving some of our most pressing global issues.

ISDE5 joins forces with Bay Area Bioneers

March 21, 2007

ISDE5 secretariat held a planning meeting with famed local group Bioneers. The goal of the meeting was to define how best to work together to promote the upcoming event, maximize outreach and leverage their many years of experience with conference broadcasting.

The Collective Heritage Institute, aka Bioneers, was founded in 1990, when Kenny Ausubel and Nina Simons assembled Bioneers for the first annual Bioneers conference, a gathering of scientific and social innovators who have demonstrated visionary and practical models for restoring the Earth and communities.

Those who attended this energizing meeting include (From left to right) Kai Huschke - Bioneers, Bill Daul - NextNow, Teo Grossman - Bioneers, Kristin Rothballer - Bioneers, Brian Hamlin - Planetwork, Glen Lauder - ISDE5 NZ, Rebecca Sheranian - ISDE5, Joe Skopek - ISDE5, Carl Chenery - ISDE5 NZ, Liz Cunningham - Bioneers, Tim Foresman - ISDE5.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Digital Earth Science Gets Own Journal

The new INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF DIGITAL EARTH will be launched this year by Taylor and Francis, Publisher under agreement with the International Society of Digital Earth. The Intention is to have the first issue come out (Vol.1 No.1) early next year. It will initially be a Quarterly publication. Details on submissions will be debuted at the June meeting in Berkeley.

The second issue will highlight many of the contributions from the 5th International. Symposium on Digital Earth held in San Francisco this June. This presents a bright future for academicians and researchers who wish to share their efforts in this budding new technology arena. Professor Guo Huadong will be the Editor-in-Chief for the Journal. The ISDE Secretariat has just hired some new young staff to help with the work of starting the Journal.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

An innovative initiative to establish a global ranking of the most peaceful nations is being launched in April by founder Steve Killelea and the statistical team from The Economist Group. Steve was driven to creating the World Peace Index (WPI) after he posed the simple questions of which countries were the most peaceful and which were not. As an international businessman, who successfully launched two major software firms from Sydney, Australia, he pondered this question among many experts, all of whom could not provide an objective and satisfactory response. Killelea is funding the initial creation of the WPI, while amassing a host of institutions and individuals, including the Dalai Lama, the Sydney Peace Foundation, the Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy, Columbia University, and the Alliance for Peacebuilding. The sustainability of the initiate is critical to acceptance of the Index as a rallying point for internal and international dialogs. Killelea believes that the Digital Earth community is crucial to disseminate the WPI, but more importantly to create an upwelling of local information for updating and fine-tuning the WPI. Local relevance is mandatory for usefulness. Mr. Killelea will be keynoting this revolutionary World Peace Index at the ISDE5.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

NOAA’s chief, Admiral Lautenbacher, Keynotes in Berkeley

Admiral Conrad Lautenbacher has had a distinguished career in both the US Navy and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. NOAA leadership has proven critical to an array of programs regarding rigorous and scientific sampling and monitoring of the Earth’s systems, at a time when NASA has been reducing its Earth Observation programs. NOAA’s leadership is proving critical for all nations as it helps to lead the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) alliances and continue with the critical measurements for fisheries, oceanography, weather, and climate change. Admiral Lautenbacher will be able to provide an expert perspective on the challenges and achievements in scientific mapping, modeling, and monitoring of the Earth’s systems and the critical role of the satellite systems and programs to provide content for the Digital Earth community. The Admiral will speak on Friday, June 8th in Berkeley.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Google Earth Connects with Communities

Google Earth was well represented at the American Geophysics Union meeting in San Francisco (Dec 11-15) along with a gathering of virtual globe scientists. Michael T. Jones, Google Earth’s Chief Technology Officer, remarked on the impressive array of scientific studies that are using Google Earth and other spinning globe technologies (e.g., NASA’s World Wind, Microsoft’s Virtual Globe, ESRI’s ArcGeoExplorer). He stated that a major challenge for the software vendors was to understand better who the communities are that are using these digital earth technologies and what will be their requirements in the future as they continue to harness these tools for their communities. Google has joined the ISDE5 as a Golden Sponsor, in part, to better understand these questions and to help promote increased communications amongst the user communities. Mr. Jones was quick to point out that while Google Earth enjoys a healthy market share in the Digital Earth community, he feels that all of the major vendors need to address the collaborative issues of our science and citizen communities if we are to look towards a better future.

Monday, January 08, 2007

United Nations Environmental Program and Global Change Atlas

UNEP was the first agency to contract with Google Earth in 2001 (when they were known as Keyhole Technologies, Inc.) to explore the management and display of global environmental conditions. One of the key projects that was envisioned by UNEP for sharing with the world was a global change atlas. The Atlas (One Planet Many People: Atlas of Our Changing Environment, 2005) has proven to be the number one (#1) all time seller for environmental books in the history of the United Nations. But that wasn’t enough considering how many people need to become involved to stop the negative impacts on the Earth’s systems and to begin on the path to sustainability and preservation of biodiversity and ecological goods and services. Here, Google Earth joined with UNEP again to create a special web site for the contents of the Atlas geo-referenced on Google Earth’s tessellation engine. Dr. Ashbindu Singh will be presenting this fascinating story to the gathered crowds during the ISDE5 in Berkeley, California

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Yukon Indians Assume Governance Role for International Watershed

The tribal leaders who run the Yukon River Inter-Tribal Watershed Council ( are celebrating their 10th year of the 50 year mission. The mission is simple: to drink from the Yukon River. To reach that goal, they have assumed major responsibilities for sample, monitoring and training on water quality from both the US Geological Survey and the US Environmental Protection Agency. A result of their mission and mandate, they have reinvigorated regional dialogs based on millennia-tested tribal protocols that have proven both culturally sensitive and effective. Beginning June of this year, after the ISDE5, the Yukon tribes will embark on a Healing Journey down the Yukon River to continue with the bi-annual village dialogs. As each village is engaged, it is proposed to debut each village as a unique site using Digital Earth technology. The Healing Journey will celebrate in mid-August at Saint Mary’s, Alaska, near the terminus of the river. Yukon tribal chiefs will be in Berkeley at the ISDE5 to share their experiences in using modern technologies for stewardship of their river.