Geospatial technologies that have quickly become commonplace and essential in industrialized countries can be enormously helpful in developing countries, as well. Crucial applications include economic development, monitoring climate change, disaster relief, emergency response, and precision agriculture. The United Nations has increasingly recognized the importance of geospatial technologies in these roles and especially that of one of their foundational elements, a global geodetic reference frame.
In July 2011, the UN’s Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) established the Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management. This committee is charged with the responsibility to devise “a global geodetic road map” to address key elements relating to the development and sustainability of the global geodetic reference frame.