Update on work to agree global fundamental data themes

Global fundamental data themes to support sustainability have come a step closer as a result of a series of consultations organised by UN-GGIM: Europe.

The regional committee was mandated by the Committee of Experts to lead the UN-GGIM Working Group on Fundamental Data following its report to GGIM5. The report identified the need for dependable global geospatial data that can be harmonised and used to measure, monitor and manage sustainable development.

UN-GGIM: Europe’s main objective is to determine a minimum list of common fundamental geospatial data themes by collating results from existing activity being undertaken by UN-GGIM regional committees.

Led by Working Group Chair, Ciare Hadley from the UK, the work kicked off at the UN-GGIM High Level Forum in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and attracted 35 delegates from UN Member States, international organisations, the private sector and the UN-GGIM Secretariat.

After introductions by Chair of the UN-GGIM: Europe Executive Committee, Bengt Kjellson from Sweden and Carol Agius from the UN-GGIM: Europe Secretariat, participants heard about some of the existing regional initiatives. They also had the opportunity to breakout in four small groups to debate and discuss their views on candidate fundamental geospatial data themes.

The global consultations continued at the Geospatial World Forum (GWF) in May in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. The session, led by Clare Hadley and Carol Agius, was another opportunity to offer views on common fundamental geospatial data themes.

Feedback from both workshops will be collated by the Working Group, and incorporated into an interim report to be presented to the Committee of Experts in New York in August.


The UN-GGIM Working Group on Fundamental Data will:

·  Produce a recommendation for a minimum list of global fundamental geospatial data themes.

·  Take account of existing activity being undertaken by UN-GGIM regional committees, ensuring that where possible existing resources are used.

·  Consider the prioritisation of the data themes and how they link to other data needs with in the UN-GGIM programme of work.

·  Consider the specific needs and vulnerabilities of small island developing States.

·  Ensure that the data themes are technical in nature.