INSPIRE Knowledge Base


Group on Earth Observations
Mission and Objectives: 
Recognizing the need to link and expand Earth Observations systems, over 100 governments and leading international organizations have founded the Group on Earth Observations, or GEO, to coordinate the construction of a Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) by the year 2015. GEO links together all existing Earth observation systems and organizations, allowing users to gain a complete picture of the planet. GEO ensures that Earth observation data and information remain universally accessible as a global public good. GEO builds trust and promotes multi-stakeholder collaboration on information gathering and dissemination; in this way, it encourages international cooperation on solving complex global problems. GEO is supporting individuals, institutions and governments eager to acquire the skills and technologies they need to use Earth observations more effectively.
Formal Mandate: 
GEO is a voluntary partnership of governments and international organizations. It provides a framework within which these partners can develop new projects and coordinate their strategies and investments. As of September 2009, GEO’s Members include 80 Governments and the European Commission. In addition, 58 intergovernmental, international, and regional organizations with a mandate in Earth observation or related issues have been recognized as Participating Organizations.
GEO is constructing GEOSS on the basis of a 10-Year Implementation Plan for the period 2005 to 2015. The Plan defines a vision statement for GEOSS, its purpose and scope, expected benefits, and the nine “Societal Benefit Areas” of disasters, health, energy, climate, water, weather, ecosystems, agriculture and biodiversity. The Group on Earth Observations is coordinating efforts to build a Global Earth Observation System of Systems, or GEOSS. (See also the GEO brochure and information sheets.) Societal Benefits GEOSS will yield a broad range of societal benefits, notably: Reducing loss of life and property from natural and human-induced disasters; Understanding environmental factors affecting human health and well-being, Improving the management of energy resources, Understanding, assessing, predicting, mitigating, and adapting to climate variability and change, Improving water resource management through better understanding of the water cycle, Improving weather information, forecasting and warning, Improving the management and protection of terrestrial, coastal and marine ecosystems, Supporting sustainable agriculture and combating desertification, and Understanding, monitoring and conserving biodiversity.
The list of Members is available on The list of Participating Organisations is available on:

Which role(s) do you foresee for the SDIC in INSPIRE development

  • submit reference material as input to the Drafting Teams
  • yes
  • allocate experts to Drafting Teams
  • yes
  • participate in the review process
  • yes
  • implement pilot projects to test/revise/develop the draft Implementing Rules
  • yes
  • collect and describe user requirements related to Environmental policies
  • yes
  • register a project to test/revise/develop the draft Implementing Rules
  • yes
  • contribute to awareness raising and training
  • yes
  • be kept informed
  • yes
    Geographic Domain
    Societal Sector
    Multiple sectors (united in GEO Communities of Practice)
    Specific Expertise
    Previous Experience relevant for INSPIRE development
    The GEO workplan includes several activities addressing interoperability and data, metadata and products harmonisation.
    Environmental application domains
    disasters, health, energy, climate, water, weather, ecosystems, agriculture and biodiversity.
    Primary Business
    Building the Global Earth Observation System of Systems