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Global Forum shows the way to Enhance Data Management and 2020 Round of Population Censuses

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Tuesday, August 12th 2014

Global Forum on the Integration of Statistical and Geospatial Information shows the way to enhance data management as well as the 2020 Round of Population Censuses

The Global Forum, held at the UN headquarters in New York, 4-5 August, brought together for the first time the heads of national statistical offices and national geospatial information authorities from around the world. Their mission was to discuss the strategic goals and vision for the integration of statistics and geospatial information.

The Forum reflects the critical importance of integrating geospatial information with statistics and socio-economic data as well as the development of a geospatial-statistical framework. It was stressed that maps and statistics are not so effective in isolation; only when they are combined within an overall information management framework do they reach their full potential. 

This is particularly relevant in the context of the post-2015 development agenda as well as finding an integrated statistical and geospatial solution to the 2020 round of Population Censuses. The Forum recognised that geospatial and statistical information needs to include a broader agenda including agriculture and economic censuses, as well as environmental-economic accounting. 

The Global Forum was organised by a subject-matter Expert Group established within the UN Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM) and the UN Statistical Commission.  This event took place within the Fourth Session of UN Committee of Exerts on Global Geospatial Information Management.

This Forum follows on from an International Workshop on Integrating Geospatial and Statistical Information, which was held in Beijing, China in June 2014. There, it was stressed that users want information/knowledge, thus the need to transform data into information. Delegates were reminded that data collection, processing, analysis and operations are a means to an end – not the end in itself.

The participants focused on an action-oriented programme so that issues to be addressed will be based on: prioritisation, clarity and focus. 

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