The Research Data Alliance (RDA) is one of the newest Participating Organizations in the Group on Earth Observations (GEO), creating an important partnership between the Earth observations and the RDA communities. GEO approved RDA's application at its plenary meeting in Mexico City last week.
To become a participating organization within GEO, one must have a mandate in Earth observation or related activities and be essential to GEO's success. Currently, there are 92 Participating Organizations in GEO.
"The partnership between RDA and GEO is both natural and timely. We have related visions of addressing grand challenges for societal benefit. It was, therefore, wonderful to have Barbara Ryan, Secretariat General of GEO, kick off the partnership with an excellent keynote at RDA's last Plenary focusing on climate change. Going forward, we have already seen how GEO is both an adopter and provider of the social and technical bridges that create an interoperable data infrastructure for Earth observations and beyond," said RDA Secretary General Mark Parsons.
Barbara Ryan added, "RDA's advocacy for open sharing of research data across disciplines and geographies will help the entire global GEO community. We are looking forward to building even stronger linkages between the two organizations."
With complementary missions and visions, both organizations hope to leverage existing and future efforts in support of broad, open data sharing. RDA builds the social and technical bridges that enable open sharing of research data across technologies, disciplines, and countries. GEO is a voluntary partnership of governments and organizations that envisions "a future wherein decisions and actions for the benefit of humankind are informed by coordinated, comprehensive and sustained Earth observations and information." The GEO community is creating a Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) that will link Earth observation resources world-wide across multiple Societal Benefit Areas – agriculture, biodiversity, climate, disasters, ecosystems, energy, health, water and weather – and make those resources available for better informed decision-making.
At least three examples of RDA-GEO collaboration already exists in RDA Working Groups and Interest Groups. The RDA Brokering Interest Group, RDA Brokering Governance Working Group, and the RDA/CODATA Legal Interoperability Interest Group include participants who are actively engaged within both organizations. The Brokering Groups are taking lessons from the Earth observations community, including GEO, and transferring them to the broader research domains of RDA. The Legal Interoperability Interest Group is taking experience from legal data sharing issues in the Earth observations arena and exploring data sharing mechanisms in other research disciplines.