Structure of the presentation
- Context and definitions: what is the link between geospatial and the SDGs?
- Partnerships and data ecosystems as enablers for sustainable development
- Partnering on solutions: applying location intelligence for development
- Challenges ahead: institutionalising partnerships and solidifying ecosystems
- Key take-away messages and conclusions
- ELISE Contribution: the Energy and Location Applications activity
Summary of the webinar
The webinar on Location Intelligence and Partnerships to support the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provided insights into the state of play on the role of geospatial and location intelligence in achieving the SDGs and examined how ecosystems and partnerships can fill the data gap. This webinar aimed at explaining the links between location intelligence, ecosystems and SDG 17 on partnerships and how these elements brought together can unlock the potential of geospatial data in sustainable development.
The webinar was structured in six sections:
First, the section "Context and definitions: what is the link between geospatial and the SDGs?" provided context on the SDGs, their relation to geospatial, terms and definitions and key international efforts for global geospatial management.
Secondly, the section "Partnerships and data ecosystems as enablers for sustainable development" gave the audience insights into the essence of SDG17 and the data ecosystem that drives development in this field. The following case studies were highlighted:
- Monitoring and reporting aided by geospatial in Ireland: Ireland Sustainable Development Hub (Ordnance Survey Ireland, the Central Statistics Office and Esri Ireland).
- Humanitarian assistance and monitoring powered by geospatial: HungerMap LIVE (World Food Program and Alibaba Cloud).
- Involving citizens for addressing sustainable development: The Atlantic Water Network of open water sources in Canada.
The third section, "Partnering on solutions: applying location intelligence for development", defined location intelligence as "more than analysis of geospatial information or geographic information systems alone, it is the capability to visualise spatial data to identify and analyse relationships." Moreover, the section described what is required by stakeholders to unlock its potential for the SDGs (collect, connect, protect.) Lastly, the following case studies were showcased:
- Location intelligence for development: responses to Covid-19, highlighting the Covid-19 Mobility Monitoring Project, the Social Distancing Scoreboard and ShopSafe.
- Location intelligence for development: AI detected fields and crops (OneSoil)
- Non-profit initiatives powered by geospatial information (Ocean Cleanup)
The fourth section outlined the "Challenges ahead: institutionalising partnerships and solidifying ecosystems", highlighting that geospatial multi-stakeholder, technology, and data-centred approaches could help address sustainable development challenges more effectively. However, it remains crucial to continue increasing awareness of key stakeholders about the advantages of sharing data, addressing sustainability and institutionalisation of partnerships and ecosystems, ensuring flexibility and customisation in the data governance and ecosystem approaches, and continuing efforts for increased capacity building.
Key messages and conclusions
Some key take-away messages:
- New trends around geospatial (use of EO, Big Data and AI) can strengthen its role in SDG beyond monitoring and statistical purposes.
- Data ecosystems and location intelligence are relevant. While much literature on SDGs already focuses on data ecosystems, location intelligence in practice is still less explored.
- A definition of location intelligence should be commonly understood.
The webinar concluded by emphasising the need for functioning data ecosystems and further research on the field of location intelligence.
Well-functioning partnerships and ecosystems are a key pillar to achieve the SDGs on location interoperability. Geospatial data and location intelligence, supported by ecosystems and partnerships, play an essential role since they can provide regular, consistent and objective information and real-time monitoring and basis for decision-making. Interoperability is of the essence to ensure internal working and external transferability. The webinar discussed the UNGGIM call for action (2019) and its focus on standards, quality and accessibility as fundamental prerequisites for interoperability.
ELISE promotes the digital transformation of Government by leveraging geospatial data, spatial technology and spatial skills. In line with this, the webinar showcased many public sector case studies to showcase the value of geospatial data, spatial technology and skills to provide value to our society and achieve the SDGs. For example, the Atlantic Water Network case study demonstrated how to engage citizens to participate in data collection activities to strengthen their geospatial databases. The Irish government also uses geospatial story maps to track and monitor their progress on the SDGs through Ireland Sustainable Development Hub.
Overall, the webinar promoted innovation in the fields mentioned above by exploring the state of the art literature, looking forward and showcasing real examples of how innovative approaches to data ecosystems and location intelligence are used to monitor, track, and implement initiatives related to the SDGs.
 Del Carmen A., “What is Location Intelligence.” (2016) Available at: https://carto.com/blog/what-is-location-intelligence-and-its-benefits/
 UNGGIM, “A call for political action in Europe.” (2019)