ISO award puts geographic information standardizers on the map

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The achievements of the international team developing standards for digital geographic information were recognized yesterday through the presentation of the Lawrence D. Eicher Leadership Award at the 33rd ISO General Assembly in Oslo, Norway.

The Chairman of ISO/TC 211, Mr. Olaf M. Østensen (left), and its Secretary, Mrs. Bjørnhild Saeterøy (right), received the award on behalf of the committee from Dr. Morrison (centre). (Photo: ©Standards Norway/Yvonne Haugen)

Every year, the award acknowledges superior performance by one of ISO’s standards development groups. The 2010 award has gone to ISO technical committee ISO/TC 211, Geographic information/Geomatics, whose standards cover objects or phenomena directly or indirectly associated with a location relative to the earth.

The goal of ISO/TC 211 is to develop a family of International Standards that will support the understanding and usage of geographic information and increase its availability, sharing, access and integration. ISO/TC 211 promotes the efficient, effective and economic use of digital geographic information and associated hardware and software systems.

The committee aims to establish a unified approach to address global ecological and humanitarian problems, ease the establishment of geospatial infrastructure on local, regional and global level and contribute to sustainable development.

In this digital age, the work of ISO/TC 211 also links to relevant standards for information technology and data, in addition to providing a framework for the development of sector-specific applications using geographic data.

Presenting the award, ISO President Dr. Alan Morrison said: “Through this award, not only do we want to acknowledge the importance of the activities of ISO/TC 211, but also the dedication and hard work since its inception in 1994.”

Dr. Morrison commented that ISO's core business is developing globally relevant International Standards. The more ISO excels in this activity, the more it meets the needs of its customers and the brighter the future of the organization. The Lawrence D. Eicher Leadership Award provides recognition of superior performance by an ISO standards development committee that is helping meet the needs of users of standards worldwide.

To date, ISO/TC 211 has developed 50 standards. Thirty-two countries participate in its work with another 31 as observers. This membership represents countries at all levels of development in every region of the world. In addition, some 30 public and private sector organizations have liaison status, as do 15 other standards development committees. Together, they facilitate the participation of stakeholders whose input increases the relevance of the work of ISO/TC 211.

Winning the award this year was an even more significant achievement for ISO/TC 211 as the secretariat of the committee is held by the host of this year’s ISO General Assembly, Standards Norway.

  • The Lawrence D. Eicher Leadership Award is named after the late Secretary-General of ISO from 1986 to 2002.

(This press release was written by Geraldine Tan, on secondment to ISO Central Secretariat from ISO’s member for Singapore, SPRING.)


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