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Digital Earth Text Book

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Cheryl Julia Kiran Desha
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Reductionist thinking will no longer suffice to address contemporary, complex challenges that defy sectoral, national, or disciplinary boundaries. Furthermore, lessons learned from the past cannot be confidently used to predict outcomes or guide future actions. The authors propose that the confluence of a number of technology and social disruptors presents a pivotal moment in history to enable real time, accelerated, and integrated action that can adequately support a ‘future earth’ through transformational solutions. Building on more than a decade of dialogues hosted by the International Society for Digital Earth (ISDE), and evolving a briefing note presented to delegates of Pivotal 2015, the paper presents an emergent context for collectively addressing spatial information, sustainable development, and good governance through three guiding principles for enabling prosperous living in the twenty-first century. These are: (1) open data, (2) real-world context, and (3) informed visualization for decision support. The paper synthesizes an interdisciplinary dialogue to create a credible and positive future vision of collaborative and transparent action for the betterment of humanity and planet. It is intended that these Pivotal Principles can be used as an elegant framework for action toward the Digital Earth vision, across local, regional, and international communities and organizations.