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International Society for Digital Earth Celebrates 20th Anniversary

Jun 12, 2024

On June 1, 2024, the International Society for Digital Earth (ISDE) celebrated its 20th anniversary with a grand ceremony during the Third China Digital Earth Conference. Over 1,200 experts and scholars from government, science, education, industry, and international organizations gathered to honor ISDE's contributions to global digital earth development and to showcase China's achievements in digital earth science research and technology.

In his video address, ISDE President Dr. Alessandro Annoni praised Chinese scientists for their crucial role in advancing the global digital earth agenda. He expressed immense pride in ISDE's evolution into a leading international organization in the geospatial field, highlighting the significant contributions of Chinese researchers in driving the society's vision and goals.

Professor Michael Meadows, President of the International Geographical Union, emphasized ISDE's pivotal role over the past twenty years in advancing geospatial knowledge, technology, and applications. He underscored the fruitful collaboration between ISDE and the International Geographical Union in fostering the exchange of knowledge, perspectives, and best practices. Professor Meadows expressed confidence that their partnership will further propel geographers and geospatial experts toward a sustainable and resilient future.

ISDE's 20th anniversary is a milestone for the global geography and geospatial information communities. Congratulatory messages were received from numerous international and national organizations, including the United Nations Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management Geospatial Societies, the International Science Council's Committee on Data, the International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, and the African Association of Remote Sensing of the Environment.

Professor Guo Huadong delivered a keynote speech titled "The International Society for Digital Earth – An International Scientific Organization Initiated by China and Joined by ISC." As a founder and guiding figure of ISDE, Guo recounted the society's journey from its inception to its current status as a global leader in digital earth development. He highlighted China's leading role and significant contributions in advancing digital earth theory and technology applications, expressing high hopes for ISDE's future. He envisions ISDE as a larger platform for global academic exchange and technological integration, promoting extensive and in-depth applications of digital earth technology through strengthened international collaboration.

Founded by Chinese scientists and headquartered in China, ISDE was officially registered in July 2004, marking the beginning of the global and systematic development of digital earth. Over the past twenty years, ISDE has achieved numerous academic and developmental milestones.

ISDE has established a "2+N" academic exchange model, launching a series of international academic exchange activities beyond its flagship International Symposium on Digital Earth and Digital Earth Summit. These activities include the China Digital Earth Conference, the Digital Earth Young Innovators Forum, the Belt and Road Digital Earth Forum, the ISDE Lecture Series, Digital Earth Youth Innovation Lectures, and academic salons, creating waves of global academic development in digital earth.

ISDE has also created three major academic publications. The International Journal of Digital Earth is the first peer-reviewed international journal focused on digital earth research, while Big Earth Data is the world's first journal dedicated to big data in earth sciences. Both have extensive influence in their respective fields. Additionally, ISDE coordinated the publication of the first English academic book on global digital earth, Manual of Digital Earth, authored by over 120 scientists from 18 countries. With over 1.12 million downloads worldwide, it provides standardized guidance for global digital earth academic exchange and innovation.

Moreover, ISDE has broadened its reach and platform influence, being a member of the Group on Earth Observations, the International Science Council, and the United Nations Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management Geospatial Societies. It has established partnerships with over 20 major international organizations, such as CODATA, ISPRS, and IEEE GRSS, continuously expanding its international cooperation landscape.

The 20th anniversary celebration of ISDE marks a significant event for the global geospatial and digital earth communities, highlighting the society's achievements and its pivotal role in fostering international collaboration and advancing the frontiers of digital earth science and technology, thereby contributing to the sustainable development of our planet.

 The International Society for Digital Earth (ISDE) celebrates its 20th anniversary. 

ISDE President Dr. Alessandro Annoni presents a video address.

Professor Michael Meadows, President of the International Geographical Union delivers a speech.