News in 2022

FIG and the Sustainable Development Goals - Standards Network

September 2022

FIG Task Force on FIG and the Sustainable Development Goals together with the ten Commissions have worked on their role on the sustainable development goals relevant for their Commission.

Chair of the Standard Network David Martin gives his Statement on the sustainable development goals in relation to the Standards Network


Standards have existed for thousands of years. The SDG's are determined a few years ago. How do they relate? The role of the Standards Network is mainly advising and supporting the Council and Commissions. In this capacity, potentially all of the SDGs that are of interest to FIG are relevant to the Standards Network. Perhaps more precisely, Commission work related to the SDGs and requiring standards support, or involving standards, could conceivably be relevant to the Standards Network.

To put things in perspective, below the tasks of the Standards Network are described:

  • Building and maintaining relations with the secretariats of standardisation bodies,
  • Proposing priorities on FIG’s standardisation activities, including advising the Council on priorities for spending,
  • Setting up necessary Liaison relationships with standardisation bodies,
  • Ensuring that lead contacts to Technical Committees etc. are in place,
  • Maintaining an information flow on standardisation to FIG members, including through the FIG website, and more directly to relevant Commission Officers,
  • Maintaining the Standards Guide, and related material on the FIG website,
  • Working with other NGOs, within the framework of the MOUs signed by the Council,
  • Advising FIG’s officers and members on standardisation activities as necessary.

Reading more about standards & the SDG's

The SDG's are part of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development. UN-GGIM aims to address global challenges regarding the use of geospatial information, including in the development agendas, and to serve as a body for global policymaking in the field of geospatial information management. Within UNGGIM the elements of the 2030 Agenda and the SDG's have been integrated in their publications. Three publications are recommended for further reading:

Framework for Integrated Geospatial Information Framework

The Integrated Geospatial Information Framework (IGIF) provides a basis and guide for developing, integrating, strengthening and maximizing geospatial information management and related resources in all countries. It will assist countries in bridging the geospatial digital divide, secure socio-economic prosperity, and to leave no one behind.

Nine strategic pathways have are described. One pathway is dedicated to Standards. This strategic pathway establishes, and ensures the adoption of, best practice standards and compliance mechanisms that enable legal, data, semantic and technical interoperability, which are fundamental to delivering integrated geospatial information and knowledge creation.

The objective is to enable different information systems to communicate and exchange data, enable knowledge discovery and inferencing between systems using unambiguous meaning, and provide users with lawful access to and reuse of geospatial information

Integrated Geospatial Information Framework. Part 1: Overarching Strategic Framework

Implementation Guide UNGGIM Strategic Pathway: 6 Standards

Each pathway of IGIF is described in more detail in the implementation guid. This strategic pathway establishes and ensures the adoption of standards and compliance mechanisms for enabling data and technology interoperability to deliver integrated geospatial information and to create location-based knowledge.
The objective is to enable an efficient and consistent approach for different information systems to be able to discover, manage, communicate, exchange and apply geospatial information for a multitude of uses, improved understanding and decisionmaking.

Implementation Guide UNGGIM Strategic Pathway: 6 Standards

A Guide to the Role of Standards in Geospatial Information Management

Together with ISO, OGC and IHO an additional guide is published on the role of standards in Geospatial Information Management. The purpose of this Guide is to promote the recommendations regarding the use of standards for geospatial information management. The Guide complements Strategic Pathway 6 on Standards (SP6) of the Integrated Geospatial Information Framework (IGIF) Implementation Guide.

It promotes the effective use of standards and helps users of standards answer the question, "Where do I start?". It has a section for each of the six actions recommended for the initial and early stages of developing and strengthening geospatial information management arrangements in a country, organization, or information community.

A Guide to the Role of Standards in Geospatial Information Management

David Martin and Paula Dijkstra
September 2022