Our Mission

To benefit society by promoting the development and realization of Digital Earth


The 10th International Symposium on Digital Earth


Plenary session

On 4-6 April 2017, the 10th International Symposium on Digital Earth, hosted by the International Society for Digital Earth (ISDE), was organized in Sydney, Australia. With the theme, “Digital transformation- our future”, this joined conference together with LOCATE 17 - national conference of the spatial and surveying industries of Australia and New Zealand -, provide both local and international delegates with an unprecedented opportunity to discuss the latest trends and applications of the Digital Earth as well as forging new connections with subject matter experts from Australia and across the globe. More than 600 hundreds people from 27 counties participated in the conference.


The local organizers of this conference are Surveying & Spatial Sciences Institute (SSSI), Spatial Industries Business Association (SIBA) and Geospatial Information & Technology Association (GITA).



Plenary speaker panel discussion

On the 5th, Zaffar Sadiq Mohamed-Ghouse (ISDE council member, president – elected of the SSSI) chaired the opening session. Martin Hoffman ( Department of Finance, Services & Innovation), Duncan McIntyre ( Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet), Guo Huadong (ISDE President), Alistair Byrom (SIBA), Gaby van Wyk (SSSI), delivered their opening addresses and then gave a plenary discussion in the opening session. 4 experts presented keynote speeches after the opening session, with wide perspectives and insights in terms of digital transformation, big data, spatial industry, digital belt and road and digital earth. Their topics covered, Achieving sustainable development through digital transformation by Greg Scott (UNGGIM), Digital transformation and the deluge of geospatial Big Data by Dr. Walter Scott (Digitalglobal US), Australia’s new 10 year strategy to grow the spatial industry: barriers, needs and high priority initiative by Dr. Peter Woodgate and Glenn Cockerton (CRCSI), and DBAR: Digital Earth in practice for the belt and road by Prof. Guo Huadong (CAS).


Mr. Gordon McBean, president of the International Council for Science (ICSU), sent a congratulatory letter to the opening of the symposium. As ISDE has been formally admitted to be an International Scientific Associate Member of ICSU from January 2017, he expected that ISDE could enhance the development of science and benefit our society together with ICSU community.


In the afternoon of the 5th, "Digital Silk Road Alliance" inauguration was held in a special session of the conference. Initiated by the ISDE and together with other international organizational partners, the alliance is to build a think tank and cooperation mechanism for the scientific exchange and the reinforcement of the current scientific capabilities in countries along the Silk Road on the earth observation and digital earth disciplines. The Alliance was founded for the purpose of building a cooperation network and a think tank of the geospatial science and technology development for the countries along the silk road, and supporting the advancing of geo-spatial information and the sustainable development of the resource and environment through international cooperation in digital earth mattered disciplines. Representatives from 10 international organizations and institutions, such as Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC), Group on Earth Observations (GEO), ICSU Committee on Data for Science and Technology (CODATA) and etc, joined in this alliance session and gave the speech of support for the alliance.


In the conference, ISDE also presented the awards of the ISDE conference organizing, life member, high cited article of the International Journal of Digital Earth, and the winner of the 2nd Digital Earth Video competition.


At the closing ceremony on 6th, it was announced that the next Digital Earth Summit will be held in Morocco in 2018, and the 11th International Symposium on Digital Earth will be held in Italy in 2019.  Both ISDE summit and symposium flags were handovered to the conference organizers.


During the three-day conference, it conducted more than 30 sessions covering a wide area of geo spatial data and information themes , in terms of big data, spatial infrastructure, virtual globes, data standards, natural resource management and etc. It included 15 keynote speeches, 39 sessions, 144 presentations in 39 sessions. And it attracted more than 20 organizations and companies as exhibitors.


On 4th, ISDE organized bureau meeting and council meeting, discussed key topics of the development of ISDE. Chairperson of the ISDE committees (Strategy & Constitution Committee, Membership & Fellow Committee, Collaboration & Award Committee, Young Scientist Committee and Project Committee), reported the committee’s task and future plans. ISDE council approved the bid of the hosting 2017 Digital Earth summit in Morocco, also permitted the establishment of the ISDE Japan Chapter. In the council meeting, ISDE and SSSI signed a collaboration MoU, seeking for more intentional co-operations between these two organizations.

9.jpgISDE Council meeting


The International Society for Digital Earth was established in response to 1999 Beijing Declaration on Digital Earth and for promoting world-wide development of Digital Earth. Inaugurated in May 2006, ISDE is an international scientific organization initiated by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, principally promoting academic exchange, science and technology innovation, education, and international collaboration towards Digital Earth. The International Symposium on Digital Earth is an academic platform of the ISDE, gathering together people from scientific, enterprise, education, and management fields to discuss Digital Earth related theories, technologies and applications in light of the progress of Digital Earth and its vision perspective. The ISDE symposia series is the major international event and a flag ship event of ISDE. Initiated in 1999, nine international symposia on Digital Earth have been held in China, Canada, Czech Republic, Japan, the United States, Australia, and Malaysia in every two years.

7.jpg“Digital Silk Road Alliance” inauguration

8.jpgMoU signed by ISDE and SSSI 

11.jpgISDE summit flag handover