Project 624 - OneGeology

It has to be emphasised at the beginning that OneGeology proposal is somehow different from classical IGCP proposals that have been submitted in the past. It is not strictly scientific project but focuses more into digital standardisation of data and application of modern IT technologies in geological sciences. It does closely rely though on results of scientific research and products of commissions on geological standards and it does develop new technological solutions in the field of geoinformation.

OneGeology originated as a concept in 2006 and became a project in March 2007 with the endorsement of the “Brighton Accord” by 81 participants from 43 nations. In the succeeding 24 months OneGeology grew to a partnership of 104 nations and certainly achieved, if not exceeded, the scientific, technical and executive success criteria it set itself in Brighton. It has continued to grow and today, OneGeology has 117 nations and 165 organisations participating to provide geological map data via a web portal.

In addition to the scientific and technical progress, OneGeology has received extensive interest from the media worldwide, which has raised its profile and that of geoscience well beyond the geoscience community. A dynamic website contains comprehensive and detailed information about the initiative at www.onegeology.org.

OneGeology is a voluntary initiative of the Geological Surveys, supported by a number of global and regional bodies, in particular the Commission for the Geological Map of the World (CGMW).

Following decisions in Brighton its day-to-day managerial coordination is currently provided by a Secretariat, based at the British Geological Survey (UK). The OneGeology portal and coordination of the information technology is currently provided by the Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et Minières (BRGM, France). In addition two international task groups have been largely responsible for the progress of OneGeology to date. An Operational Management Group comprising representatives from approximately 29 geological surveys; 5 international bodies provides input and guidance on management and communications issues; and a Technical Working Group has specified, developed and implemented the portal and associated protocols.

In a meeting in 2008 at the 33rd IGC, directors of many geological surveys enthusiastically endorsed the continuation of OneGeology and also agreed that a formal Steering Group should be set up with a member from each continent. This Steering Group is comprised of 7 representatives of seven World regions (Africa, America (N and S), Asia, Eurasia, Europe and Oceania.

The OneGeology concept has been proved. National geological map data is globally accessible through a single portal. Basic web map protocols and standards are being promulgated and accelerated. Last but not least, the initiative has demonstrated its ability to transfer know-how and exchange understanding between the developed and the developing world. OneGeology is a vibrant and effective partnership – based on interoperability and sharing principles - with a dynamic web presence and a high public and media profile. The OneGeology infrastructure and potential is in place to build upon and expand – for example: to add data from more countries, to add higher resolution data, and to add applied data and data with a 3rd dimension.

Whilst geological surveys have always played an invaluable role within our own individual nations and also worked bilaterally to assist each other, we have never before pooled our unrivalled expertise and data and knowledge bases on this scale to deliver something that can add value and make a difference globally. OneGeology is largely a product of geological surveys and indeed could be said to be one of the few tangible global manifestations of geological surveys.

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