The World Geospatial Industry Council (WGIC) is a relatively young organization with many accomplishments behind it already. Over the years, WGIC, in all of its activities, has continuously aligned with its mission to showcase the value of commercial geospatial companies to the world economy and society, advocate several key policy matters, and create business opportunities for its members.
“2022 has been quite a strong year for WGIC. It has been particularly rewarding to communicate the contributions of the commercial geospatial sector to the sustainability, security, and economic development of the world, ” said Ken Mooyman, WGIC President.
In 2022, WGIC participated in over forty global events (including COP27, GEO WEEK, INTERGEO, and UN-GGIM), experienced substantial growth in membership, and gained global recognition. In terms of new members, Microsoft joined WGIC at the patron level, European Space Imaging came on board at the corporate level, and Ceinsys, DeepSpatial, EKMGlobal, Picterra, SatelliteVu, and Scepter entered at the associate member level. “For a relatively young organization, WGIC is making a tremendous impact globally. This would not be possible without our esteemed members,” highlighted Mooyman.
WGIC’s project proposal, “Leveraging Commercial Capabilities for Climate Action on the SDGs through Mapping and Earth Observations,” stood out as one of the Prince Talal International Prize for Human Development winners for 2022. Established by the Arab Gulf Programme for Development (AGFUND), WGIC received the award and prize money at COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.
This is the first time WGIC has received global recognition for its contributions to advancing climate action on behalf of the commercial geospatial sector. “This project will demonstrate the value of geospatial technologies from WGIC members to society and the global economy – our first strategic goal. If successful, this project will also help us build a long-lasting partnership with AGFUND and other philanthropic organizations looking to understand the value and relevance of geospatial technologies to their development agendas,” said Barbara Ryan, WGIC Executive Director.
WGIC presented the inaugural Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Trailblazer Awards at INTERGEO 2022. In this inaugural edition of the awards, Esri India won the WGIC DEI Trailblazer – Corporate Impact Award, and Clinton Johnson, Racial Equity and Social Justice Solutions Lead, Esri, won WGIC DEI Trailblazer – Individual Champion Award.
Mapping the Way Forward
Building on the accomplishments of 2022, WGIC enters 2023 with a three-fold strategic focus:
- advance climate action efforts and deliver AGFUND Project titled “Climate Action in Africa – Leveraging Capabilities from Commercial Geospatial Sector”
- dive deeper into spatial digital twins and look at the role of geospatial technologies in building the metaverse
- strengthen the relationship with the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy (GCoM).
“While trying to achieve these three key focus areas, we also want to ensure that WGIC aggressively represents our members at other global events beyond COP. GEO WEEK 2023, Devex World 2023, Climate Week NYC 2023, INTERGEO 2023, and the intergovernmental GEO Ministerial are key targets this year. At each of these events, building on the focus areas described above, we will showcase the work of WGIC members. Bringing specific examples and case studies of your capabilities to these user communities will increase our collective impact,” said Ryan.
Many international and global governance mechanisms often fail to fully utilize and recognize the commercial capabilities of the geospatial industry companies. However, in recent years, WGIC has worked to address this issue by offering a unified and consistent voice representing the entire value chain of the geospatial ecosystem, but more progress is needed. “Geospatial industry has the essential solutions needed to make giant leaps to improve life on this planet. In 2023, let us come together to accelerate and expand our impact. It is our commitment to support exponential changes that our members and the planet will benefit from,” highlighted Mooyman.