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Building Digital Earth, For the Benefit of Society
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On September 9, 2009, the 6th International Symposium on Digital Earth (ISDE6) with the theme of “Digital Earth in Action” was held in Beijing. Over 1000 scholars, entrepreneurs and managers from more than 40 countries in the field of digital earth were present at the opening ceremony of the symposium. Guo Huadong, president of the Organizing Committee of ISDE6, chaired the symposium.

Venue of opening ceremony

Prof.Lu addressed

Prof.Guo made a speech

Lu Yongxiang, vice chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, chairman of the International Society for Digital Earth and president of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, attended the symposium and delivered the welcoming speech. Lu Yongxiang reviewed the development of digital earth and the ISDE over the past decade. He pointed out that thanks to the joint efforts of scholars, policy-makers and enterprises worldwide, great achievements have been made in the field of digital earth, and international academic building in digital earth has also been promoted constantly. He proposed that in the process of building the digital earth, we must make full use of advanced earth observation technologies, new generation networking and sensing technologies, search technologies, browser technologies and cloud computation technologies to improve the public service level, reduce service costs, bring “digital earth” to every corner of the earth, and make digital earth an information platform for decision-makers and a real information homeland that is jointly built and shared by all mankind.

Prof.Cao Jianlin from the MOST addressed

Representatives of UNESCO

Representative of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Liu Yandong, member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and state councilor, who was unable to attend the symposium on schedule, sent a letter of congratulations to the organization committee of the symposium, and extended his best wishes to the symposium. Cao Jianlin, vice minister of the Ministry of Science and Technology, read the letter of congratulations on behalf of him. In the letter, Liu Yandong extended his congratulations on the inauguration of the symposium on behalf of the Chinese government and warmest welcome to experts, scholars and all representatives from all over the world who were present at the symposium. She pointed out that, all countries were facing a number of major issues that needed to be solved together, such as climate change, energy conservation and emission reduction, ecological environmental protection, food security, disease control, world heritage protection, major regional natural disasters and major global finance problems etc., and this has set more imperative requirements for building digital earth. We are convinced that digital earth will become an effective support for global cooperation in the field of sustainable development, a new growth point in economic and social development and a new carrier of human civilization and progress.

Representative of the Group on Earth Observations

Representative of the Global Spatial Data Infrastructure Association

At the symposium, speeches were also given by the representatives from international organizations such as the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the Group on Earth Observations, the Global Spatial Data Infrastructure Association, the International Steering Committee for Global Mapping, and Asian Association on Remote Sensing etc. Professor Jose Achache, member of the US National Academy of Sciences, Xu Guanhua, former minister of science and technology, and astronaut Yang Liwei were also invited to make the reports at the symposium.

Representative of the International Steering Committee for Global Mapping

To celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the ISDE and reward the organizations and individuals that have made special contributions in the development of “digital earth”, the commemorative awards of the 10th anniversary of the ISDE are established. Lu Yongxiang and other leaders presented “Digital Earth Science and Technology Contribution Award”, “Contribution Award for Enterprises in Digital Earth” and “ISDE Organization Award” respectively.

Representative of Asian Association on Remote Sensing

Winners of Digital Earth Science and Technology Contribution Award

The opening ceremony was concluded at 18:00 pm. In the following 4 days, some 22 domestic and foreign well-known experts will deliver academic reports on 40 topics at 5 report sessions, and issue 'Beijing Declaration' in 2009. In addition, the ISDE exhibition for digital earth technologies and their applications, which was inaugurated on September 9, has demonstrated not only development of digital earth in China in the past decade but also technical products and services of enterprises that are digital earth.

Winners of Contribution Award for Enterprises in Digital Earth

The ISDE initiated by our country in 1999 is held every two years. The four symposia afterwards were held in Canada, Czechoslovakia, Japan and the US respectively, and the Summits on Sustainable Development and Digital Earth was held in New Zealand and Germany in 2006 and 2008. Ten years later, the ISDE6 with the theme of “Digital Earth in Action” was held in China again. Besides, focusing on the critical global issue of “building the digital earth and coping with global change”, it is committed to promote research, exchange and cooperation in digital earth theories and technologies and their applications. It will have a significant and positive influence on deepening the awareness of the role of digital earth in global change and promoting digital earth to better serve for human survival and development.

GEO Secretariat Director Jose Achache

The concept of “digital earth” was proposed in 1999. It is the best way to integrate, use and share the existing data and information resources and a core information source in sustainable development. With joint efforts of the government, science circles and enterprises of all countries, remarkable progress has been made in the theories, technologies and applications in digital earth. Furthermore, these accomplishments in digital earth are playing an increasingly significant role in economic and social development.

Prof Xu Guanhua

Astronaut Yang Liwei

CAS Vice President Yin Hejun

The Chinese government has always attached great importance to promoting IT application in national economic and social development, integrate IT application with industrialization, transform the development pattern, and take the path for comprehensive, coordinate and sustainable development. To cope with the global financial crisis, the Chinese government has regarded promotion of information application an important task, and sharply increased the budget in IT research and development and construction of information infrastructural facilities. The scientific and technological input in the relevant information fields accounts for a high proportion. We are convinced that digital earth construction in all countries including China will be strongly promoted and will reach a new level.

Center for Earth Observation and Digital Earth,Chinese Academy of Sciences
No.9 Dengzhuang South Road, Haidian District, Beijing 100094, China Tel:86-10-82178008 Fax:86-10-82178009