SDI vs. Neogeography

Thursday, December 15, 2011 - 22:30

"The proponents of human geography, physical geography and now neogeography spend too much time worrying about how to define their particular area of expertise and interest -- usually to the degradation of the other two.  It's too much like siblings who fight amongst themselves, and only band together when the family is attacked.  We tend squander great amounts of energy and time fussing over the differences and especially the tools we use, or don't, and completely miss the fact that our internal divisions are completely invisible to the other 99.9% of the world.

I believe it is time to bury the hatchets and concentrate on improving the human experience of billions of citizens of the earth who don't have time to worry about our internal differences and the UN, along with the SDI, can be the starting point."

Sam Bacharach


Michael Gould

Professor of Information Systems, University Jaume I, Castellón (Valencia), Spain. 
Member of management council of Spain SDI (IDEE) 
Participant in Implementation Rules Drafting Teams for the INSPIRE initiative 
Past chair of management council of Association of Geographic Information Laboratories in Europe (AGILE) 
Research currently focuses on alternative methods for georesource publication and discovery.


Roger Longhorn

Roger Longhorn, a graduate of M.I.T. in Ocean Engineering (BSc) and Shipping Management (MSc), has been involved in the ICT industry since 1976 and the geospatial industry since 1992. He provided transport and regional planning expertise to UNCTAD (Shipping Division), UNDP and UNESCO (Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission - IOC), in Africa, the Indian Ocean and Pakistan. He worked as a marine information systems developer globally from 1976 to 1986, followed by an external expert post at the European Commission’s DG Information Society (1989-1999), during which period he was involved in developing the strategy for the pan-European SDI, beginning in 1995, now embodied in the INSPIRE Directive being implemented across the EU.

Currently co-Chair of the Global Spatial Data Infrastructure (GSDI) Association Legal and Socioeconomic Working Group, he is also Information Policy Advisor for EUCC – The Coastal Union (Leiden, NL), a consultant for UNESCO’s IOC IODE Project, and represents two INSPIRE coastal/marine Spatial Data Interest Communities (SDICs). Roger is a member of the EUROGI (European Umbrella Organisation for Geographic Information) International Affairs Working and Advisory Group, and Editor of GEO:connexion International magazine, a trade journal that covers the geomatics industry globally.


Ed Parsons

Ed Parsons is the Geospatial Technologist of Google, with responsibility for evangelising Google’s mission to organise the world’s information using geography, and tools including Google Earth, Google Maps and Google Maps for Mobile.
Ed was the first Chief Technology Officer in the 200-year-old history of Ordnance Survey, and was instrumental in moving the focus of the organisation from mapping to Geographical Information.
Ed came to the Ordnance Survey from Autodesk, where he was EMEA Applications Manager for the Geographical Information Systems (GIS) Division. During his tenure, he helped Autodesk to become one of the key providers of GIS software.Earlier in his career he was a Senior Lecturer at Kingston University, where he helped establish Europe’s first undergraduate course in GIS.
He earned a Master degree in Applied Remote Sensing from Cranfield Institute of Technology and is a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, London. He is the author of numerous articles, professional papers and presentations to International Conferences, and has developed one of most popular Weblogs in the Geospatial Industry,
Ed is married with two children and lives in South West London.

His family life is documented at


Sam Bacharach

Sam Bacharach is the Executive Director, Outreach and Community Adoption Program of the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC), Inc.

Sam Bacharach joined OGC in April 2000.  He was a user of mapping data for many years as an Army officer, and then supervised terrain analysis and mapping production as a Topographic Officer before retiring in 1994.  He spent 5 ½ years working for Intergraph Corporation and became convinced that open standards, specifically those from the OGC’s open consensus process, were a requirement for geospatial knowledge to ever make its way out of the basement (where the offices were usually located) to full integration with information and communication technology.  He has managed several Test Beds for OGC and has presented on geospatial services and OGC in the U.S. and Canada, Asia, Africa, Australia and Europe.  He sees the creation of standards very much like surfing in that the effort has to match the wave pattern to be useful.  A standard set before there is commercial viability will be out of date by the time business is realized and a standard that awaits business to be established may be too late to gain wide acceptance.  He represents OGC to the Digital Geospatial Information Working Group, and the Committee for European Normalization (CEN) Technical Committee 287.

Sam holds a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master of Science, Geography, from the University of Idaho.


Schuyler Erle

Schuyler Erle is a long-time Open Source software developer and activist, and a founding member of OSGeo Foundation. Schuyler was a co-author of /Mapping Hacks: Tips and Tricks for Digital Cartography/, one of the first books on the subject of digital cartography and GIS aimed at the mass market. More recently, Schuyler co-founded the OpenLayers and TileCache projects, two widely used components in the OSGeo software stack.

Schuyler currently runs Entropy Free LLC, a software engineering firm based in New York City, where he provides consulting services on geospatial technology to clients in the private and non-profit sectors,
including the UNICEF technology innovation unit.