Joint ConnectinGEO and GEO Workshop
Essential Variables for GEOSS
June 11-12, 2015, Bari, Italy

Towards a sustainability process for defining GEOSS Essential Variables

Scope | Deadlines | Venue | Logistics | Committees | Participation | Output | Abstracts | Registration | Accommodation | Sessions | Schedule | Program

Workshop infos

Relevant Links and Documents


Speakers were not asked to submit abstracts for their presentations. Speakers were asked to use the presentation template available here. They are also asked to address the questions indicated below.


The speakers are asked to give an overview of the status of the discussion of essential variables (EVs) within their community or SBA. All speakers should address the same set of questions to get a coherent overview of the status for the different SBAs. These question include:

  • Is your community developing a set of area-specific EVs?
  • If not, is the community planning to start this in the near future?
  • If you have, or are developing a set of EVs, please consider the following questions:
  • How do you define an EV?
  • What criteria, methodology, and process are used to identify EVs?
  • Do you have a template to document an EV?
  • How are EVs validated to meet the criteria and to be essential?
  • To what extent are the EVs already accepted by the community?
  • Are the EVs linked to applications and users?
  • How is a community agreement reached?
  • Is a community review process in place?
  • Are the EVs linked to an international body (i.e. a UN convention or similar) and is this body involved in accepting the EVs?
  • Do you have a database with information on the EVs?

We also would like to hear more about the links between EVs and observation networks:

  • Are the current operational networks operated by your community measuring the EVs?
  • Have you already carried out a gap analysis utilizing the EVs to identify gaps and priorities in in terms of in situ and remotely sensed data availability; models (algorithms); direct measurements or proxies; data repository; infrastructure.


The definition of an EV still needs to be worked out. However, it will be important to include in the definition that an EV should be monitoring change in the system state (and have value for attribution of the drivers for these changes). An EV should only be accessible through measurements and not be derivable in different way.

A variable can be essential in principle, but the spatial and temporal resolution of observations of this EV depend on the use of the observations, and in some cases, available observations may not be ready for use for specific applications.