on Digital Earth (ISDE 11)


ISDE president

Director-General of the Institute of Remote
Sensing and Digital Earth (CAS) – Beijing (CHINA)

Celebrate the 20th Anniversary of
the International Symposium for Digital Earth (ISDE)

Dear Colleagues, The 11th International Symposium on Digital Earth will run from the 23rd to 27th September 2019 in Florence, one of Italy’s most historically rich cities. On behalf of the International Society for Digital Earth (ISDE), I would like to invite you to attend this symposium, for which the theme is “Digital Earth and Transformation of the Society”.

Since the concept of Digital Earth was presented in 1998, the state of Digital Earth science and technology has thrived and provided prosperous growth in key areas. Digital Earth has been at the cutting edge of the development of Earth Science, Information Science, and Space Science and Technology. Today, a wave of big data has emerged, which is ushering in a new era for the understanding and utilization of Digital Earth through technologies such as cloud computing, artificial intelligence and the internet of things. Along with societal transformation, the concept of Digital Earth is also considered to be closely related to, and having an impact on, Big Earth data, which brings us fresh opportunities and challenges when it comes to promoting this concept. To meet these challenges posed by Big Earth data, it is necessary to advance Digital Earth technologies in areas which primarily include data sharing, processing and analysis, and also data-intensive discovery, thus facilitating the transformation of society – which has already occurred – and supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals that have been partially achieved. We believe that Digital Earth is continuing to play a key pragmatic role in response to many and various socio-economic concerns, such as global changes, disaster mitigation and the digital economy.

ISDE was founded in 2006 and headquartered at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The ISDE’s mission is to promote academic exchange, scientific and technological innovation, education, and international collaboration, with the aim of developing the wider Digital Earth vision. ISDE is well recognized by the international community and became a member of the GEO and ICSU (ISC) in 2009 and 2017, respectively. The International Symposium on Digital Earth and the Digital Earth Summit are the academic conference platforms of the ISDE. Since 1999, 10 symposia and 7 summits have been organized in 11 countries all around the world. The ISDE publishes an SCI journal, the International Journal of Digital Earth (IJDE), which currently has an impact factor of 2.746 (2018). A new open access resource which is also the IJDE’s sister journal, Big Earth Data, had its inaugural edition in December 2017. ISDE, together with our international partners, initiated the “Digital Silk Road Alliance” in 2016 with the purpose of building a network for collaboration and a think tank concerned with geospatial science and technological development of the countries along the Silk Road. These provide much needed international platforms designed for people from scientific, academic, and commercial communities. These platforms are aided by the progress of Digital Earth and the perspectives its vision affords.

The ISDE symposia series is one of the major scientific events aiming to establish a solid foundation for academic exchange and international collaboration with regard to the enrichment of the Digital Earth concept, the advancement of Digital Earth technology and the development of Digital Earth applications worldwide. In 1999 the first international symposium on Digital Earth was organized in Beijing. Following that, the symposium has been convened every two years: in New Brunswick (2001), Brno (2003), Tokyo (2005), Berkeley (2007), Beijing (2009), Perth (2011), Kuching (2013), Halifax (2015) and Sydney (2017). The 2019 symposium in Florence marks the 20th anniversary of the ISDE symposium series. We are ready to celebrate this significant moment in ISDE history.

We believe this symposium will provide those attending with an unprecedented opportunity for sharing, communicating, and networking. We hope this symposium will be able to generate fruitful insights, discoveries, and output for Digital Earth’s future development. We would like to thank our colleagues from the National Research Council of Italy, the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, those who are in organizing and scientific committees, and all colleagues for their considerable efforts in realizing this Digital Earth symposium.

I sincerely look forward to hosting you in this city which served as a cradle of the Renaissance, and warmly welcoming you to be part of our community in a shared future.

Thank you!

Best Regards



GUO Huadong

President, International Society for Digital Earth