11 December 2005

Global forest information service

At the recent Oxford conference on 'frontiers in forest information', Eero Mikkola, coordinator of the Global Forest Information Service (GFIS) gave an update on its current status and upcoming plans.

GFIS is two things: A partnership to organize forestry information, and an Internet gateway that provides access to forest-related information through a single entry point. The idea is that GFIS will become a common platform for forest-related institutions to describe and share information using common standards and tools. GFIS helps partners organize and broadcast information; it helps users to find forestry information; it is not owned by any single organization; and it enhances networking and strengthens international collaboration.

The GFIS strategy is to minimize centralized activities and to make it easy for varioorganizationsons to participate and provide information to the common platform. Partners manage their own information, making use of GFIS standards for information exchange. Partnorganizationsons index their online content with common metadata and terminology and they make their content available to GFIS using feeds and RSS. The GFIS service is built up from the partner feeds and by harvesting of the metadata that partners add to their own content.

GFIS is an initiative of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF). It is led by the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO), together with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Center for International Forest Research (CIFOR), CAB International, the National Biological Information Infrastructure (NBII) and the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF). Many other organizations also contribute to the initiative.

This is part of a series of short stories highlighting forest information initiatives showcased in the Oxford Forest Information Service centenary meeting.




Post a Comment

<< Home