Some 20 representatives from EU-JRC, USGS, GEO, UNOOSA, SERVIR, DLR, CSA/Athena Global, SERTIT, ITHACA and Sentinel Asia gathered in Ispra, Italy to formally establish the International Working Group on satellite based emergency mapping (IWG-SEM). This was a follow-up to the first meeting hosted by DLR in Hohenkammer in September 2011. The vision of IWG-SEM was defined as “Supporting disaster response by improving international cooperation in satellite based emergency mapping”. The mission statement that the participants agreed upon refers to establishing best-practices between emergency-mapping programmes to enable better collaboration and capacity coordination, with a view to also define jointly a set of professional standards for emergency mapping and data use.
A content management system and online forum will be set up by the European Joint Research Centre (JRC) for document sharing and collaboration, and monthly teleconferences will be also held. It was proposed that the group should meet twice a year during one plenary meeting and one technical meeting, with the next meeting suggested to be held 9-10 October 2012 in Washington.