Keynote Speaker Prof. Tim Foresman

Created on Tuesday, 03 May 2016 10:02:41

Beyond Moore’s Law: Harnessing spatial-digital disruptive technologies for Digital Earth

Tim Foresman

Professor and SIBA Chair in Spatial Information, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia


Abstract. Moore’s Law will reach its plateau by 2020. Big data, however, will continue to increase as the Internet of Things and social media converge into the new era of ‘huge data’. Disruptive technologies over the past couple decades include RFIDS, smartphones, smart buildings, smart meters, broadband network and communications, cloud computing, analytics for complex big data, visualisation, and the eruption of social media. The media hype around these disruptive technologies is that these are explosive and immediate forces that rock the foundations of the business and government communities. The truth of our collective future is more strategic and aligned with the Digital Earth vision regarding expectations for significant economic benefits and increased utility to those who harness the spatial-digital disruptive revolution.

This digital revolution, from which the Digital Earth (DE) vision was borne, gains its prowess in accordance with a new Second Law of Geography which states potential for financial and functional utility. This law helps explain, in part, the phenomenal expansion of applications and enterprises over the past decade. Capitalization for the Digital Earth community can become evident when attending to spatially-enabled enterprises that can provide significant ROIs and expanded business opportunities. Benefits of DE technological advances should be manifested as business performance improvements based on capitalizing the locational attributes of corporate and government assets; the foundation of big data. Better governance and better business represents a key foundation for sustainability and therefore should not be a DE afterthought but rather implicit as guiding principles. The Pivotal Principles will help illuminate the potential of the spatial-digital era for DE. These Principles provide for a comprehensive management philosophy regarding harnessing data policies, operations, and engagement with key stakeholders. Members of the DE community will gain an innovative perspective requisite for strategic decision making in this disruptive age.



Prof.  Tim Foresman



Professor Tim Foresman is the SIBA Chair in Spatial Information at the Queensland University of Technology. He has served many government agencies including the US Marine Corps at the Pentagon, the US EPA, and NASA.

He served as the United Nations’ chief environmental scientist with the United Nations Environment Programme in Nairobi, Kenya. At NASA Headquarters he was the national manager for the Digital Earth Initiative under Vice President Al Gore, which led to many developments, including Google Earth. He continues to be an advocate for the use of scientific visualization technology and spatial information systems (Earth Observation, GIS, Big Data Analytics) and engaging citizens through innovative social media for community-based decision support and digital democracy. His current interests include targeting the integration of advanced technologies in engineering, planning, clean energy and operations for a prosperous and sustainable future.


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International Society for Digital Earth (ISDE), an international scientific organization initialed by Chinese Academy of Sciences, is built for principally promoting academic exchange, science and technology innovation, education, and international collaboration towards Digital Earth.



6th Digital Earth Summit