Digital Earth Vision

The concept of the Digital Earth, proposed by Al Gore in his speech of 31 January 1998, is an interdisciplinary and fundamental concept that is constantly evolving. As a result, there was a need to formalise the concept’s current status and development horizons in the form of declarations (dated 1999 and 2009), as well as in the form of Digital Earth Vision — a hybrid, multi-faceted overview that clarifies our understanding of the Digital Earth, its worldviews, applications and perspectives. The first review of this kind of Digital Earth Vision 2020 was presented in 2011. In «Digital Earth 2020: towards the vision for the next decade», published in the International Journal of Digital Earth, (Issue 1, 2012), it was concluded that the key factors in the technological development of Digital Earth for the next decade are increasing the bandwidth of Internet channels and improving visualisation technologies. Another factor in the development of the concept was the involvement of ordinary users in its development through the widespread distribution of a network format for social interaction. Subsequently, Digital Earth Vision 2020 was supplemented in the work of «Next-Generation Digital Earth», published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) on June 2012.

Current Digital Earth Vision documents

Beijing Declaration on Digital Earth (1999) 
Beijing Declaration on Digital Earth (2009) 
Digital Earth 2020: towards the vision for the next decade (2012)
Next-Generation Digital Earth (2012)
Florence Declaration on Digital Earth (2019)

The next milestones for the development of Digital Earth were formulated in 2019 in the Florence Declaration on Digital Earth. The year 2020 brought a radically renewed agenda, which brought to the fore issues of general cultural significance, as well as radically new threats and risks arising from, among other things, the technological development of the previous decade. Social networks, which were presented as a new source of information, have become a medium for the spread of postprevention as well as a tool for social manipulation. Humankind has faced completely new threats, which are fundamentally related to poor management. These new threats can only be tackled by implementing a global sustainable development concept. Its common denominator is, obviously, the Digital Earth.

Currently, many fundamental issues of the Digital Earth are still waiting to be resolved. One of them is the lack of a modern and universally recognised scientific definition of the Digital Earth. The 8th Digital Earth Summit is expected to consider the concept of the development of the Digital Earth for the next decade.


Supported by Neogeography Group