How are we doing it?
The project is a truly multinational and multilateral venture. It involves many different stakeholders working together: the network of geological surveys around the world; the international umbrella organisations of the Commission for the Geological Map of the World (CGMW), International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) and United Nations Educational Scientific & Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and the International Framework of the International Steering Committee for Global Mapping (ISCGM). It is hoped that we will attract other relevant bodies as the project moves forward.
The concept is a completely modern paradigm: it is a distributed model – a dynamic set of geological map and other geoscience data served mostly on a national basis by individual geological surveys and other institutions (e.g. academia, industry) or bodies (e.g. the polar and marine surveys and research bodies) to a web portal and as such are frequently updated and improved by them and reflect the most up to date data they possess.
The project is obviously closely interlinked with the IUGS Commission for the Management and Application of Geoscience Information (CGI) and in particular its work on a global data model and interchange standard – GeoSciML. For further details of CGI and GeoSciML please see www.cgi-iugs.org and www.geosciml.org.
The OneGeology kick-off meeting was held in Brighton, UK in March 2007. A total of 81 geoscientists from 43 countries across the world gathered to consider a proposition – would they be prepared to collaborate to create a global geological map dataset? The answer was a resounding 'yes' and the proposition became an initiative, known as 'OneGeology'. The Brighton meeting produced a unanimous 'Accord' that provides the governance, technical and political essentials for OneGeology.
Brighton resulted in a large amount of interest from prospective participants, engagement and recruitment continues.
The Brighton meeting was quickly followed by a technical workshop, which was held in Utrecht, Netherlands on 30-31 May 2007. The resulting action list is available.
Following Management Team discussions about Intellectual Property Rights and Data Use, a report was written, agreed and ratified by the Steering Group. The resulting Intellectual Property Rights and Data Use Policy is available.
After a period of growth and expansion with major support from two surveys, the OneGeology Steering Group was challenged to drive forward the OneGeology Initiative and determine its future development and focus. In August 2012, at the IGC in Brisbane, it was agreed that OneGeology would create a new consortium that would sign up to an agreement.
This was put into place and the first meeting of this consortium was held in Paris on 21st October 2013 where a significant step forward in assuring the long-term sustainability of OneGeology has been taken. The Meeting agenda items focussed on the new objectives, consortium membership, appointment of board members, funding and governance structure.
The Paris meeting paved the way to the next stage in the development of OneGeology, creator of the global online geological map. This next stage will be the global provision of open geological data on many more aspects of rocks. Before OneGeology, geological maps were available like jigsaw pieces – these are now being brought together in a seamless map to cover the entire planet. The next phase of the OneGeology initiative will be to increase the openness and richness of that data from individual countries to create a multi-thematic global geological data resource on the rocks beneath our feet. Authoritative information on hazards and minerals will help to prevent natural disasters, explore for resources (water, minerals and energy) and identify risks to human health on a planetary scale.