Geo4SDGs: Addressing Agenda 2030

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was adopted by the United Nations in September 2015 with an aim to reach the 'furthest behind first'. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals and the 169 associated targets have been decided to strike a balance and integrate the three core dimensions of sustainable development namely, social, economic and environmental.

The United Nations has corroborated the significance of leveraging geospatial data for policy making, programming and project operations to realize the SDGs and its associated targets. Continuous innovations in technologies such as UAVs, sensors, satellites, big data, etc. are further enabling the use of geospatial not only towards achieving the agenda, but more crucially in measuring, monitoring and reporting the progress as well.

Geo4SDGs, first introduced in Geospatial World Forum 2018, is a platform for stakeholders to discuss the integration of geospatial data into the sustainable development agenda in a holistic manner. With the aim to bridge the gap between geospatial community, development community, policy makers, and the implementers of the Sustainable Development Goals, Geo4SDGs 2019 shall discuss pressing sustainable development issues including climate change, food security, and urbanization; and how geospatial community can contribute.


Geo-enabling SDG Indicators and Monitoring Framework: From Global Policy to National Capabilities

ModeratorGreg Scott, Inter Regional Advisor, Global Geospatial Information Management, United Nations
Greg Scott
Inter Regional Advisor
Global Geospatial Information Management
United Nations
Kees de Zeeuw, Director,  Kadaster International, The Netherlands
Kees de Zeeuw Director
Kadaster International
The Netherlands
Anne Hale Miglarese, Founder & CEO, Radiant Earth Foundation, USA
Anne Hale Miglarese Founder & CEO
Radiant Earth Foundation

Policy-Data Integration for Bridging Data Gap

ModeratorDr. Derek Clarke, Chief Director, National Geospatial Information, Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, South Africa
Dr. Derek Clarke
Chief Director
National Geospatial Information, Department of Rural Development and Land Reform
South Africa
Andre Laperriere, Executive Director, GODAN, United Kingdom
Andre Laperriere Executive Director
United Kingdom
Noud Hooyman, Head Policy, Geo-information, Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, The Netherlands
Noud Hooyman Head Policy, Geo-information
Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations
The Netherlands
Air Commodore Ahmed Saif Al-Badi, Head, National Survey Authority, Oman
Air Commodore Ahmed Saif Al-Badi Head
National Survey Authority
Janet Ranganathan, Vice President, Science and Research, World Resources Institute (WRI), USA
Janet Ranganathan Vice President, Science and Research
World Resources Institute (WRI)

Big Data and Analytics for Sustainable Development

ModeratorWilly Govender, Chief Executive Officer, Data World, South Africa
Willy Govender
Chief Executive Officer
Data World
South Africa
Janusz Dygaszewicz, President, European Forum for Geography and Statistics,  Poland
Janusz Dygaszewicz President
European Forum for Geography and Statistics
Jake Garcia, Vice President for Data and Technology Strategy, Foundation Center, USA
Jake Garcia Vice President for Data and Technology Strategy
Foundation Center
Kent Marten, Principal Product Manager, Maps and Spatial Analysis, Tableau Software, USA
Kent Marten Principal Product Manager, Maps and Spatial Analysis
Tableau Software
Dean Angelides, Corporate Director, International/Alliances/ Partners, Esri, USA
Dean Angelides Corporate Director, International/Alliances/ Partners

NewSpace and Data Revolution: Impact on SDGs

Stephen Coulson, Head of Sustainable Initiatives Office, European Space Agency, Italy
Stephen Coulson Head of Sustainable Initiatives Office
European Space Agency
Yoshiaki Kinoshita, Director, Paris Office, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), France
Yoshiaki Kinoshita Director, Paris Office
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)
Krystal Wilson, Director of Space Applications Programs, Secure World Foundation, USA
Krystal Wilson Director of Space Applications Programs
Secure World Foundation
Doug Specht, Senior Lecturer, University of Westminster, United Kingdom
Doug Specht Senior Lecturer
University of Westminster
United Kingdom

Geospatial for Economic Growth & Social Prosperity

ModeratorTim Trainor, Consultant, Former Co-Chair of UN-GGIM, Former Chief Geospatial Scientist at the U.S. Census Bureau,
Tim Trainor
Consultant, Former Co-Chair of UN-GGIM
Former Chief Geospatial Scientist at the U.S. Census Bureau
Frank Pichel, Chief Programs Officer, Cadasta Foundation, USA
Frank Pichel Chief Programs Officer
Cadasta Foundation
Peter Head, Founder and Chair, Resilience Brokers, United Kingdom
Peter Head Founder and Chair
Resilience Brokers
United Kingdom
Matt Delano, General Manager, Land Administration, Trimble, USA
Matt Delano General Manager, Land Administration

Geospatial Insights for a Changing Planet

Leida Rijnhout, Member Steering Group, SDG Watch Europe, Belgium
Leida Rijnhout Member Steering Group
SDG Watch Europe
Tobias Schmitz, Senior Advisor, Water Resources, Global Institute for Water,  Environment and Health, Switzerland
Tobias Schmitz Senior Advisor, Water Resources
Global Institute for Water
Environment and Health
Zach Ferdana, Geospatial Information Officer, The Nature Conservancy,  USA
Zach Ferdana Geospatial Information Officer
The Nature Conservancy
Gopika Suresh, Research Scientist, Federal Agency for Cartography and Geodesy, Germany
Gopika Suresh Research Scientist
Federal Agency for Cartography and Geodesy

Geospatial Empowering the People

ModeratorJagdeesh Rao, Chief Executive, Foundation for Ecological Security, India
Jagdeesh Rao
Chief Executive
Foundation for Ecological Security
Yelena Ogneva-Himmelberger, Associate Professor, Clark University, USA
Yelena Ogneva-Himmelberger Associate Professor
Clark University
Melanie Eckle, Secretary of the Board, Humanitarian OpenStreetMap, Research Associate, Heidelberg Institute for Geoinformation Technology, Germany
Melanie Eckle Secretary of the Board
Humanitarian OpenStreetMap
Research Associate, Heidelberg Institute for Geoinformation Technology


Linking People, Planet & Prosperity, through Spatial Lens

The SDGs, made up of 17 separate goals, targets a wide-range of global issues, from extreme poverty to climate change. Location and geography are significant to most of the issues, making geospatial data as equally important to SDGs as the demographic and statistical data. Understanding SDGs from spatial point of view is essential for governments in order to identify where the citizens are and where the root of the problem lies. Accordingly the right development strategies can be formulated. The session will feature 4 panels on the following topics:

Geospatial Empowering the People
One key aspect of the SDG is to end poverty and hunger, in all their forms and dimensions, and to ensure that all human beings can fulfil their potential in dignity and equality and in a healthy environment. Geospatial data, paired with artificial intelligence and crowdsourcing, becomes a powerful tool to monitor and improve citizen wellbeing. The panel will discuss how geospatial technology plays a role in eradicating poverty, and in improving food security, healthcare, education quality and gender equality for the overall wellbeing of the people.

Geospatial Insights for a Changing Planet
Another key aspect of the SDG is to protect the planet from degradation, including through sustainable consumption and production, sustainably managing its natural resources and taking urgent action on climate change. The panel will discuss geospatial contribution in evaluating impacts, monitor progress and improve accountability in natural resources management, including water, ocean, and biodiversity, as well as its role in climate adaptation.

Geospatial for Economic Growth & Social Prosperity
The SDGs are determined to ensure that all human beings can enjoy prosperous and fulfilling lives and that economic, social and technological progress occurs in harmony with nature. Key economic areas such as energy, infrastructure, and cities rely on technology to increase efficiencies. Panel will discuss geospatial data and the critical role it plays in creating the prosperity and wellbeing of future generations.

Policy-Data Integration for Bridging Data Gap
Geospatial technologies and services, strengthening data production and the use of better data in policymaking and monitoring, are becoming increasingly recognized as fundamental means for global development. Such data and services have the real potential of forming a new and emerging 'data ecosystem' for development with integrated information systems that are comprehensive and coordinated. With the enabling global mechanism of the 2030 Agenda, the challenge is how to most effectively transfer the available technology, data richness, and connectivity to the technology and data poor. Panel will discuss the needs for data to be more open, and platforms to be more usable and integrated, so they can reach even the poorest of the poor in the least developed countries.

Geo-enabling SDG Indicators and Monitoring Framework: From Global Policy to National Capabilities

When pursuing ambitious long-term targets like the SDGs, measuring progress at frequent intervals and documenting the successes and shortfalls is essential. Developing the adequate monitoring and reporting system is a challenge for many countries. Geospatial technologies offer attractive solutions in monitoring key areas in SDG such as urban development, agriculture and rural development, water resources management, climate resilience, disaster risk reduction, and more. Success stories and exemplary innovation of Geo4SDGs from various national, regional and global initiatives will be demonstrated.

Data Revolution: Crucial Tools for the Success of SDGs

A data ecosystem is crucial to the success of sustainable development goals. Integrating national statistical data along with geospatial data, earth observation data and citizen generated data and Big Data, will ensure more real-time data is available to address the SDGs. This will enable more agile, efficient and evidence-based decision-making and can better measure the SDG progress in a way that is both inclusive and fair. The session will hold 2 panels on the following topics:

NewSpace and Data Revolution: Impact on SDGs
Geospatial marketplace is evolving rapidly due to data revolution and continuous innovations in cloud computing, machine learning and drone technology. On top of this, a number of companies and private ventures today are endeavoring the NewSpace movement, to develop faster, better, and cheaper access to space, including all its upstream and downstream technologies. The movement is largely driven by commercial values. How can SDG implementers leverage on this data revolution and NewSpace movement? Panel of experts will deliberate.

Big Data and Analytics for Sustainable Development
Geospatial and earth observation data, if analyzed and modelled properly, can be visualized as a dynamic informative map. When layered with more attributions and information, complex issues can be understood within seconds and problem areas can be identified instantly. Insights derived from the integration of geospatial and non-geospatial data can help achieve the SDGs and help nations formulate the most effective strategic plans for action on national issues. Policy-makers, data providers and technology companies will discuss current adoption of big data and analytics in sustainable development.


  • Agriculture & Food Security Organizations
  • City & Urban Planning Authorities
  • Climate & Meteorological Organizations
  • Consultants
  • Developmental Agencies
  • Disaster Management Agencies
  • Environment & Conservation Organizations
  • Funding Agencies
  • Geospatial Technology Companies
  • Information Technology Companies
  • Land & Natural Resources Organizations
  • Multilateral Agencies
  • National Geospatial Agencies
  • National Statistical Agencies
  • Non-governmental Organizations
  • Oceanography & Coastal Zone Management Agencies
  • Policy Makers
  • Public & Private Geospatial Data Providers
  • Research Institutions
  • Water & Energy Organizations