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Forum on Frontiers on Science & Technology for Big Earth Data from Space Convenes in Beijing
 Date: 2015-06-26  Page Views:

On June 17-18, 2015, the Forum on Frontiers on Science & Technology for Big Earth Data from Space was held in Beijing. Sponsored by the Academic Divisions of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CASAD), co-sponsored by the CASAD on Earth Sciences and the Academics Works and Publications Committee of CASAD, and co-organized by RADI and Science China Press. More than 80 academicians, experts, and scholars from over 40 institutions across China attended the Forum.

As Academician FU Bojie, Vice Director of the CASAD on Earth Sciences, pointed out in his address, this Forum was aimed to have attendees figure out major issues and strategic researches based on China’s needs for digital Earth development through discussing about the boost of space and big Earth data to Earth sciences so that they can further drive the growth of digital Earth in China and even the entire world.

CAS Academician GUO Huadong made a keynote presentation under the title of “Big Earth Data from Space: New Engine for Earth Sciences’ Research” in the opening ceremony. As he stated in his presentation, big data is the strategic highland in the era of knowledge-driven economy, which is like the ‘oil’ in industrial societies. It has been a focus of research in science, technology, economics, and social studies, and it is becoming a new solution in scientific research as the paradigm changes from being model-driven to data-driven. By seeking relationships from huge amounts of data, new models, new knowledge, and new laws can be discovered and explored. He elaborated upon the origin, connotation, and development of big Earth data from space, introduced its relationship with digital Earth, analysed the potential for driving the research of Earth system science and global changes, and on the basis put forward three recommendations on how to speed up China’s process of constructing big data. Furthermore, he expounded that the big data is unleashing interesting times of transition, and it will change human life and our understanding of the world. The big Earth data from space is bringing new opportunities for Earth sciences’ research, which is the new engine for discovery and innovation.

CAS Academician LI Deren delivered the presentation titled “Temporal-spatial Big Data in Smart Cities”, which introduced the concept of smart city and summarized its development process. He described the smart city is based on digital city, Internet of Things (IOT) and cloud computing, which will integrate the real Earth with the digital Earth. The big data of smart city is not only a scientific frontier, but also the driving force to promote the development of smart city, which will bring new opportunities and challenges.

In the presentation of “Big Data and Space-time Reference”, CAS Academician YANG Yuanxi pointed out that over 80% of big data were related with time and space and thus the calculation, gathering, analysis and exploration of big data had to be conducted under a globally unified space-time reference frame. Even though the Beidou Navigation Satellite System has prepared some ground for China to build a unified space-time reference across the country, it still remains an arduous task to establish a globally unified space-time reference that well fits in the era of big data and enables seamless transmission.

On the two-day meeting, a total of 23 experts from different fields including space-based Earth observation, geography, geology, aerology, oceanography, geophysics, geochemistry, space physics and computer science gave presentations and held discussions on the following four topics, such as “Space-based Earth Observation and Big Data”, “Processing and Knowledge Discovery Methods for Big Earth Data from Space”, “Earth Sciences and Big Earth Data from Space” and “Big Earth Data from Space and Earth Sciences”. As attendees agreed, big data could be creatively used to realize scientific discoveries with correlation and causal analysis as main and auxiliary tools respectively. Big data has developed into a new engine for the growth of Earth sciences’ research, given its strengths in geographical knowledge discoveries have been proved in such fields as digital Earth, global changes, seismic analysis and mineral deposit prediction. Therefore, China’s relevant authorities are recommended to value the great boost of big data to and the possible change to Earth sciences, conduct strategic top-level design, carry out the research of space and Earth-based big data in a systematic and continuous manner, and come up with feasible measures with a view to further promoting the research of Earth system science.

The Forum on Frontiers on Science & Technology is a high-level academic platform set by CASAD to engage in frontier exploration, systematic review and prediction. This is the 48th academic activities since its establishment.

Prof. GUO Huadong gives a keynote presentation under the title of “Big Earth Data from Space: New Engine for Earth Sciences’ Research” in the opening ceremony.

Prof. LI Deren gives a keynote presentation titled “Temporal-spatial Big Data in Smart Cities”.

Prof. YANG Yuanxi gives a keynote presentation titled “Big Data and Space-time Reference”.

A scene of the forum.

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