Interoperable Services


Improve access to and interactive use of spatial data to enhance data sharing and support decision-making through international standards and specifications.


International standards are needed to share and use geospatial information within the UN Spatial Data Infrastructure. It allows members to develop and strengthen their respective geospatial capacities in a compliant and interoperable manner. As a result a substantial amount of geospatial data can be shared between agencies, thus avoiding duplication. UNGIWG has adopted the ISO/TC211 standard number 19115 on Geospatial Metadata as its baseline. From this standard a draft minimum field subset has been developed, tested and is in the process of being recognized as a UN standard. Details of the fields and tools developed for creating and editing metadata are provided in ‘word format’ or as an ‘XML template’ containing sample data.

Data portals

A number of data portals are being developed by UNGIWG members in order to aid data discovery. These allow GIS staff to effectively document, manage and publish their data. Some also now provide the capacity to overlay datasets from disparate sources; all greatly facilitate the work of staff in the UN System.

Task managers

Mick Wilson (UNEP) and Jeroen Ticheler (FAO)