Information and Cooperation Forum
InGeoForum is the information and cooperation forum shared by providers and users of spatial data, geographic information systems (GIS) and services (geo-information). Our basic intention is to promote geo-information on a national and regional level and to encourage the development of a national and regional infrastructure for spatial data.
Geo-information is the basis for many decision-making processes in our residential and economic environment. Users from quite different industries and administrative sectors are now using geo-information for a great many of tasks and services.
This results in an increased need of high-quality spatial data drawing, however, on a data potential which, despite new technologies like the Internet, can only be used and exploited to a certain extent. At the same time, the amount of information content companies and administrations have to handle is accruing day by day. However, to secure the success of information systems a reasonable structuring or restructuring of existing and new business processes including the geo-information is necessary.
In addition to the classical application areas of geo-information in public planning and administration, environmental protection, traffic control and telecommunication we have increasingly also application areas through to information in world-spanning portals. Google-Earth, e.g., offers a service platform with image data where the developments supposed to be expert knowledge in previous years are now actively launched for the use of everybody. Therefore the Forum also aims at publicising expert systems in good time at least for our members from industry and administration thus enabling them to benefit from the developments.
The foundation of InGeoForum was the result of an initiative created in the Rhine-Main region in 1996. By the end of 1997 the founding members decided to establish InGeoForum as the first institutional information and cooperation forum for spatial data in Germany creating a platform for information, cooperation and communication for all parties from research, industry and administration involved in the geo-information market.
The forum by now known far beyond the borders of the region provides methods and tools of a free network to bundle the existing and previously distributed data potential, to structure it so that the users and decision-makers from industry and politics can make use of it. To cover the demand for an area-wide information network and a comprehensive geodata infrastructure (GDI) in Germany the Forum pursues three basic objectives:
Support of the cooperation between providers and users of geodata, GIS and services (geo-information)
Research and advancement of geodata application areas to create a positive effect on the regional markets
Specific promotion of the utilisation and dissemination of geo-information in the scope of economically and politically relevant projects and business processes
Working with geodata often proves to be problematic for lay users and not very user-friendly. Much of the needed information offered by the providers is not well structured. Furthermore the different data-keeping bodies are holding their data in most different formats and update states, they are often generated for internal purposes only. InGeoForum has taken up the cause of developing a professional and, above all, user-friendly information network for a wide application spectrum of the geodata. Information on distributed data and services is incorporated, their exploitation potential analysed and, meeting the requirements and including well-proven know-how from industry, research and administration, led to a target-oriented solution.
To ensure a far-reaching efficiency of this network InGeoForum sees the central task in advancing the communication and cooperation in the geodata user communities.