The International Coalition for Geoinformatics (iGeoInfo) was founded to build a community to promote data sharing concepts, and geoinformatics in general, at an international level, with colleagues and funding agencies. The iGeoInfo website aims to be a clearinghouse to inform the geosciences community about international activities in geoinformatics.
The iGeoInfo inaugural workshop was held on Friday 20 August, 2004 at the 32nd International Geological Congress in Florence, Italy. H. Richard Lane of the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) and Cinzia Cervato (CHRONOS) invited 35 scientists and 20 representatives of European funding organizations to launch a global forum on sedimentary geology and paleobiology The goal of the workshop was to develop a collaborative international effort that focuses on the next generation research and education and that provides a forum for both individuals and organizations involved in conducting and sponsoring this research.
This meeting, which was the first of a planned series of meetings on these topics, focused on geoinformatics. It was complementary to the meeting held by the International Union of Geosciences' Commission for the Management and Application of Geoscience Information (CGI; http://www.bgs.ac.uk/cgi_web), chaired by Kristine Asch (German Geological Survey BGR, firstname.lastname@example.org). Scientists from Germany, Austria, France, and the United States presented current geoscience database and information management projects and strategies and discussed issues concerning the necessary information technology (i.e., database interoperability, data sharing, etc.), the nature of their geoscience communities, and their information needs.
This first meeting concluded with an agreement to form the "International Coalition for GeoInformatics" (iGeoInfo). We anticipate close collaboration with CGI and other interested organizations, groups, and individuals.