[unav_all] Status and Progress of GGOS - Message from the Chair

Markus Rothacher rothacher at gfz-potsdam.de
Fri Nov 11 10:48:01 MST 2005

Global Geodetic Observing System

GGOS Message Outline:
o Global Geodetic Observing System - Update
o Focus - Internal Organization and Finalization of the GGOS 
Implementation Plan
	Website and communications
	Request for WG Chairs to list WG members with contact information
	Exploring a web forum for improving communications
o Integrated Global Observing System Partnership - Update on proposed 
theme 'Earth System Dynamics'
o GEOSS Activities
o Meetings - Steering Committee:
	Thursday December 8, San Francisco during the AGU venue (5-9 Dec 2005)
	TBD, in Vienna, during the EGU Venue (2-7 April 2006)
	Plans for a GGOS workshop in October 2006, possibly in 
connection with FIG/IAG/INTERGEO

Dear colleagues,

During the International Association of Geodesy 2005 meeting in 
Cairns, Australia, this past August, the IAG Executive Committee 
approved the continuation of its key program, the Global Geodetic 
Observing System (GGOS). During this meeting, the IAG appointed new 
chairs of the GGOS Steering Committee:
    Prof. Markus Rothacher, Chair
    Ruth Neilan, Co-Chair,
    Prof. Hans-Peter Plag, Co-Chair
The chairs immediately met at Cairns, and have met via teleconference 
a number of times since, planning the next phases of this important 

(Note that for more information on the IAG 2005 meeting, please visit 
the IAG website and see the message from IAG President Prof. Gerhard 

As we plan to assume the responsibilities for GGOS we acknowledge the 
important contributions and dedication since 2003 of GGOS Chair, 
Prof. Christoph Reigber  and GGOS Secretariat Prof. Hermann Drewes. 
The draft implementation plan that was presented at Cairns captures 
the history and progress of GGOS and lays the framework for the next 

We have had quite a bit of discussion regarding how to keep pace with 
the rapid external developments that GGOS is involved in -
Global Earth Observing System of Systems - GEOSS
Integrated Global Observing System Partnership - IGOS-P

And importantly - how to proceed with our internal organization as we 
enter this next phase of truly realizing GGOS during the time period 
of 2005-2009.

To address the many issues of GGOS, a meeting of the Steering 
Committee (SC) and invited participants will be held on Thursday, 
December 8 in San Francisco from 14:00 to 17:00 at the AGU.  Please 
reserve this time period,  location and agenda information will be 
sent in the very near future.

GGOS Internal Organization

The website is being updated and any comments are welcome for improvement:
Current Working Group (WG)  Chairs are requested to provide the 
listing of their WG members to the Chairs with email address. As GGOS 
moves forward, improving  communications from the Chairs, across WGs 
and externally will be essential.

The chairs are reviewing the working document of the GGOS 
implementation plan and are proposing modifications to document for 
the upcoming period, these will be further reviewed by the Steering 
Committee and WG chairs. Any further suggestions from the WGs are 
invited.  The current intent is to incorporate recent information, 
reflecting goals and objectives from the GEOSS and IGOS-P plans that 
are important for the global acceptance and realization of GGOS, 
ensuring that GGOS is an essential component which can make a clear 
and recognized contribution over the coming decade and beyond.

One of the topics will also be to work with the Services to establish 
links between the Service products and the scientific applications of 
these products by a diverse user community.

The chairs are also exploring the possibility of a web-based forum 
for GGOS as tool to evolve beyond simple e-mail structure as a method 
of communicating and making information readily available to a 
broader interest group.  This would conceivably be partitioned 
between internal and external forums, as well as topical sub-forums.

Integrated Global Observing System Partnership

Prof. Hans-Peter Plag continues to be our key interface to the IGOS-P 
activity. Key points here are the upcoming IGOS-P-12bis meeting in 
London on  17 November and the IGOS-P Theme Leader meeting on 22 May 
2006 in Geneva. For the 12bis meeting, the agenda includes a 
recommendation to commence the GGOS membership procedure and we 
expect that this point will be accepted without problems. Thus, after 
the 12bis meeting, the formal procedure for GGOS to become a full 
member of IGOS-P can be started. This will involve the exchange of 
Letters of Understanding between all IGOS-P members and GGOS.

Once this process has been started, we will also contact the chairs 
of the IGOS-P Themes and discuss with them the particular 
contribution of GGOS to these Themes. Considering that the OGOS-P 
Themes cover a wide range of problems, we will have to involve 
additional experts from the GGOS community in this processes.

At the IGOS-P Theme Leader Meeting in May 2006, we will discuss the 
suggested 'Earth System Dynamics' Theme with the other theme leaders. 
In order to detail the proposal further, a writing panel of 4 to 5 
experts plus the chairs will work over the next months on the 
exisiting document. A key issue will be to document the added value 
of this new Theme and to show that the overlap with existing Themes 
is not too wide.

Our goal is to get the suggested Theme idea first accepted by the 
Theme Leaders and then a Theme proposal formally accepted by the
IGOS-P-13bis meeting in November 2006. After that, the writing of the 
Theme report can start. For most Themes, this step involves/d some 20 
experts. To see examples of Theme reports - see:
The Geohazards Theme Report does reference a number of observation 
techniques of the IAG and hence GGOS, and so does the Water Cycle 
report. A number of the other themes also depend on GGOS 
observations, while, of course, most Themes are users of ITRF.

GEOSS Activities & GGOS

The Group on Earth Observations (GEO) will convene the GEO-II plenary 
meeting 14 & 15 December in Geneva  on the Global Earth Observing 
System of Systems (GEOSS). For information see the following sites,

And please take note of the Ten-Year Implementation Plan document - 
this document will be used to highlight GGOS contributions to the 
negotiated plan, coordinating the GGOS implementation with the GEOSS 
implementation and target goals.

For an update on the GEO plenary and establishment of the GEO 
secretariat at the WMO in Geneva see this link: 

One of the deliberations within the SC will be -  what does GGOS want 
to contribute to GEOSS? The GEOSS implementation plan is built around 
the nine social benefit areas identified by the Second Earth 
Observation Summit, and clearly, GGOS is essential to a number of 
these.  The plan includes the  following statement as a preamble to 
the benefit areas:

4.1 Societal Benefit Areas
GEOSS will yield advances in the societal benefit areas defined by 
its purpose and
scope. Each area has compelling reasons for the Earth-observation advances
envisioned in GEOSS.

For information needs common to many societal benefit areas, GEOSS 
will facilitate
the development and provision of common products such as maps of topography,
bathymetry, river systems, infrastructure, and land cover and land 
use, and a geodetic
reference frame for Earth observation. Interpretation and use of 
Earth observations
requires information on the drivers and consequences of change, 
including georeferenced socio-economic data and indicators.

The  plan can be accessed at the GEO site above, but here is a direct link:

The  SC will be assessing the GEO plan and looking at harmonizing our 
structure and activities to be synergistic with both GEO activities 
and IGOS-P.

The SC will review the status of GGOS appointments to the GEOSS 
Working Groups and evaluate how best to interface and maintain 


The first meeting of the SC with extended participants and the chairs 
is called for December 8 as noted above.  There is much business to 
address and attendees are requested to do some homework on these 
activities to enhance the discussion time, which is limited to 3 
hours.  The chairs feel that it is important to fully establish the 
new organization. The Science Advisory Council must also be in place 
in the very near future to assist with guidance of GGOS directions 
and plans.

During the EGU in Vienna (2-7 April 2006), a second meeting will be 
organized with the aim to further our internal organization and 
schedule of events.  Discussion will also be centered on a GGOS 
workshop, possibly in connection with the FIG/IAG/INTERGEO symposium 
in Munich next October.

With kindest regards to our colleagues, and any suggestions can be 
directed to the Chairs, with assistance from Katrin Gundrum, acting 
Secretariat for the GGOS Chairs.

Very best regards -

Prof. Markus Rothacher, Chair


Ruth Neilan and Prof. Hans-Peter Plag, Co-Chairs
Katrin Gundrum, GGOS Chair's Secretariat

GGOS Chairs:
  	M. Rothacher, Chair, R. Neilan and H-P. Plag Co-Chairs

GGOS Steering Committee:
Includes Chair and Co-Chairs above, and as possible, past Chair and Secretary,
	Ch. Reigber and H. Drewes
Representatives from Reference Frames: 
	C. Boucher, H. Drewes 
Gravity Field: 
	R. Forsberg, R. Rummel, C.K. Shum 
	V. Dehant, K. Heki, S. Zerbini
Geometric Services:
	N. Beck, Chopo Ma, M. Pearlman 
Gravity Services:  
	F. Sanso, Ph. Woodworth, M. Watkins 
	W. Schlüter, J. Manning

Extended Participants:
WG Chairs - WG member list to be provided:

User Linkage and Outreach:	B. Engen
Data and Information:	R. Neilan (to be replaced)
Publishing and Legal Matters:	H-P. Plag  (to be replaced)
Conventions, Analysis and Modelling:	M. Rothacher (to be replaced)
Missions:	S. Bettadpur
Ground Networks and Communications:	M. Pearlman
Strategy and Funding:	Vacant - to be a function of the SC
Science Council:	 R. Rummel

IAG Representatives to the GEO WGs:

WG on Architecture & Data:     B. Richter, R. Neilan  
WG on Science and Technology:     M. Pearlman, S. Zerbini
WG on Capacity Building and Outreach:     C. Rizos, H. Drewes
WG on User Interface:     H.-P.Plag, C.K. Shum
Special WG on Tsunami Activities:     H.-P. Plag, T. Schoene

Representation from IAG Commission IV:	Ch Rizos

IAG Services and Commissions: Additional representation to be determined.

Prof. Dr. phil. nat. Markus Rothacher
GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam (GFZ)
Department 1: Geodesy & Remote Sensing
Telegrafenberg A 17, D-14473 Potsdam, Germany

phone:  +49 (0)331 288-1100
fax:    +49 (0)331 288-1111
e-mail: <mailto:rothacher at gfz-potsdam.de>rothacher at gfz-potsdam.de        
www:    <http://www.gfz-potsdam.de>http://www.gfz-potsdam.de
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