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


The 11th International Symposium on Digital Earth

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From 24th to 27th September 2019, the 11th International Symposium on Digital Earth jointly with the 20th Anniversary of Digital Earth symposium series were successfully held in Florence, Italy. The Symposium was hosted by the International Society for Digital Earth (hereinafter referred to as ISDE) and was co-organized by the National Research Council of Italy and the European Commission - Joint Research Centre. With the theme of “Digital Earth in a Transformed Society”, the symposium attracted more than 400 representatives from more than 20 countries and related international organizations, including China, Italy, the United States, Germany, Austria, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Russia, India, etc.


In the afternoon of the 24th, the opening ceremony was held in the Florence City Hall. Prof. Huadong Guo, the ISDE President delivered the opening remarks. And then Prof. Guo presented the appointment certificate of the new President of ISDE to Dr. Alessandro Annoni from the European Commission - Joint Research Centre. In recognition of the outstanding contribution of Prof. Guo to the global development of Digital Earth and the improvement of ISDE, the ISDE Council awarded Prof. Guo the ISDE “Lifetime Honorary President” and “Fellow” title. At the same time, Prof. John van Genderen and Prof. Milan Konecny, the former Executive Committee  members of ISDE, were also awarded the title of “Fellow”. This is the second time that ISDE has awarded the title of “Fellow” since 2016. Currently only five scientists have obtained it. In addition, the Manual of Digital Earth, which was contributed by more than 100 scholars from 18 countries in three years was pre-released at the opening ceremony. This monograph will play an important role in guiding the global academic development of Digital Earth.

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Prof. Huadong Guo was awarded the ISDE “Lifetime Honorary President” and “Fellow”title

Subsequently, Ms. Monica Barni, the vice-president of the Tuscany Regional Authorities of Italy, Mr. Fedsrico Giauassi, the representative to the Mayor of Florence, Italy, Mr. Massimo Inguscio, the President of the National Research Council of Italy, Mr. Gabriele Ferrieri, the President of the National Association of Young Innovators of Italy, and Dr. Fangcai Wu, the Senior Vice President of GEOVIS, the Platinum Sponsor to the symposium delivered welcome speeches.


In the plenary section, Prof. Huadong Guo, Dr. Alessandro Annoni, Prof. Geoffrey Boulton (from the International Science Council), and Prof. Graciela Metternicht (from the University of New South Wales, Australia) were invited to give keynote speeches on “Digital Earth Retrospective”, “Digital Earth Future Challenges”, “Global Sustainability: the Challenge for Science”, “The Future is Now: the Challenge of Digital Earth to be Relevant in Global Transitions to Sustainability”, respectively.


From 25th to 27th, in the two plenary sessions and 28 parallel sessions, 151 scientists gave academic reports in the fields of Earth science, Earth observation, big data, remote sensing, and data mining related to Digital Earth, as well as the applications of Digital Earth in urban, marine, atmospheric, life sciences, heritage, public science and relevant fields. During the symposium, three grand debates with the topics of “Trust and Ethics in Digital Earth”, “Digital Earth for UN Sustainable Development Goals” and “ISDE in a Transformed Society” were carried out, clarifying the challenges and opportunities Digital Earth faced in a transformed society, the role that Digital Earth played in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and the future development trend of ISDE. More than ten world-renowned scientists exchanged their ideas on these three topics with the attendees.


On the 23rd before the symposium, the 4th ISDE Bureau meeting and the 14th ISDE Council meeting were held, respectively. On the meetings the secretariat work and the two journals publication were reported, the preparation progress on the 11th International Symposium on Digital Earth and the 8th Digital Earth Summit were presented, and other issues related to ISDE were also discussed. The meeting adopted the composition of the new Bureau and the new Council, and approved the application for the next International Symposium on Digital Earth.

council meeting (1).jpgThe 14th ISDE Council Meeting

On the 25th, an expanded editorial board meeting of the International Journal of Digital Earth (IJDE) and the journal of Big Earth Data (BEDJ) was held. Some of the journal editors, ISDE councilors, journal authors and reviewers were invited to attend the meeting to discuss the revision of the journal aims and goals, and how to attract high-quality manuscripts, invite reviewers and organize special issues, etc. The discussion provides important support for the optimization of the journals' manuscripts and the promotion of the journals' international influence.

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Expanded Editorial Board Meeting of IJDE and BEDJ

On the 26th, under the auspices of the new President, Dr. Alessandro Annoni, the 5th ISDE Bureau meeting was held. In the afternoon of the 27th, the 15th ISDE Council meeting was held, fully discussing the ISDE future development goals, implementation plans, the roles of the Bureau and Council, and the re-organization of the task forces.

In the morning of the 27th, on the closing ceremony of the symposium the 12th International Symposium on Digital Earth was officially announced to be held in Salzburg, Austria in 2021. On behalf of the host, Prof. Thomas Blaschke gave a speech to welcome the delegates, and then the symposium flag handover was made to the next symposium. Dr. Eugene Eremchenko, delivered a warm invitation, welcoming delegates to the 8th Digital Earth Summit held in Russia in 2020. The 3rd ISDE Young Scientists Digital Earth Video Competition was won by Maria Zakharova from Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia. She was invited to participate in the symposium and deliver her speech. Prof. Min Chen from Nanjing Normal University of China was awarded the IJDE Best Special Issue Organization Award of the 2018. At the closing ceremony, all delegates adopted the 2019 Florence Declaration on Digital Earth, which is an important milestone after the 1999 and 2009 Beijing Declaration on Digital Earth. The success of the ISDE12 as well as ISDE Bureau and council meetings pave the way for the future development of Digital Earth worldwide.