To benefit society by promoting the development and realization of Digital Earth
On 27-30 September 2021 the 31st International Scientific Conference "Graphicon-2021" was held in Nizhny Novgorod (Russia). Due to COVID-19 pandemy, for the second year in a row it was held in a hybrid format. On September 30, the traditional section Digital Earth and Big Data was held at the conference. This section summarized the present status of the Digital Earth concept and formulated new objectives.
Despite all organizational problems, the Graphicon-2021 can be described as a success. The very fact that the tradition of holding annual conferences has not been interrupted for more than three decades is evidence of the importance of visualization as an interdisciplinary area. The sections "Digital Earth and Big Data", held annually since 2017, have been organically integrated into the scientific visualisation, and interest in them is steadily growing.
In 2021, a total of 9 papers were approved for the "Digital Earth and Big Data" section and were presented both in person and remotely. An important place at the conference was occupied by the reports devoted to fundamental questions of visualization in general and geospatial visualization in particular. Secretary General of the International Society for the Digital Earth (ISDE) Prof. Changlin Wang addressed the conference participants, emphasizing the success of the 8th Digital Earth Summit to be held in Russia in 2020 by the Neogeography Group. A brief report on its outcome and in general on the prospects of the Digital Earth development was heard. It was noted that the 8th Digital Earth Summit was by many accounts the largest (in terms of geographical coverage) scientific event in Russia in the whole Russian history.
The section "Digital Earth and Big Data" summarized and concluded the conference and ended with a lively wrap-up discussion where the results and future development of both the section and the Graphicon conference were discussed. It was noted that the focus of discussion should be the nature of visual perception (at the conference this issue was discussed in detail in the paper of Yu.M. Baturin "The Individual’s Perception Space of the Digital Earth"). The emergence of qualitatively new information environments requires the development of a vision of new modes of visual perception and new types of spatial data, the application of geospatial visualization in solving vitally important issues of human development - such as sustainable development. A number of proposals were made on further improving the format of the "Digital Earth and Big Data" section; in particular,it was proposed to expand the publication activity of the section. Prospects for the development of the Graphicon conferences were discussed.
Information on the location of the next Graphicon conference in 2022 will be made available on the society's website at a later date. However, we can already say that interest in the fundamental aspects of the visual as a special medium is growing, and the next conference promises to be of considerable interest.
For more information about the "Digital Earth and Big Data" section, please visit: https://graphicon.nntu.ru/section_en/digital-earth-and-big-data/