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EnviroInfo 2008 conference

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Umweltinformationssysteme der öffentlichen Verwaltung (german)  

Spatial Data Infrastructures and Data Mining  

ICT-based Corporate Communication and Sustainability Reporting  

Instruments for supporting sustainable environmental planning  

• Integrating Information for Health and Environmental Protection

Sharing Environmental Information – Towards an Integrated Information Space for the Environment in Europe  

ICT for sustainable energy production and energy efficiency - energy and the environment

Open Source in the field of Environmental Informatics  

ICT for risk, health and disaster management  

Umweltinformationssysteme der öffentlichen Verwaltung (german)

Umweltinformationssysteme sind wichtige Hilfsmittel, die angesichts der ständig wachsenden Anforderungen im Umweltbereich ein schnelles und qualifiziertes Handeln sicherstellen. Sie dienen der Abbildung des Ist-Zustandes der Umwelt und können als Planungs- und Kontrollinstrumentarium dazu beitragen, Umweltveränderungen in ihrer Dynamik zu erfassen und Schadensprozesse rechtzeitig erkennbar zu machen. Überdies bewerkstelligen sie einen intelligenten Zugang zu Umweltdaten.

In den zurückliegenden Jahren wurden zahlreiche wegweisende Konzepte und Lösungen erarbeitet und als themenbezogene Informationssysteme oder auch als fachübergreifende Umweltinformationssysteme im Bund, in den Ländern sowie auf kommunaler Ebene verwirklicht.

Die aktuelle Rechtssetzung - z.B. zum Zugang der Öffentlichkeit zu Umweltinformationen (Richtlinie 2003/4/EG) oder zum Aufbau einer europäischen Geodateninfrastruktur (INSPIRE-Richtlinie 2007/2/EG)- eröffnet auch für die Umweltinformatik neue Forschungsansätze, um in Verbindung mit eGovernment-Aktivitäten das Informationsangebot der öffentlichen Verwaltung qualitätsgesichert, umfassend und verständlich zugängig zu machen.

Im Rahmen des Workshops sollen hierzu entsprechende Konzepte und Lösungen vorgestellt und diskutiert werden. Da der Workshop in Zusammenarbeit mit dem Arbeitskreis "Kommunale Umweltinformationssysteme" der GI-Fachgruppe "Informatik im Umweltschutz" durchgeführt wird, sind insbesondere auch Beiträge aus kommunaler Sicht erwünscht.

Nachfolgende Liste enthält Themenbereiche, zu denen Beiträge erwartet werden:

• Konzepte zur Umsetzung der EU-Umweltinformationsrichtlinie auf staatlicher und kommunaler Ebene
• Umweltinformationssysteme der Länder mit ihren Schnittstellen zum kommunalen Bereich
• Aufbau von Geodaten-Infrastrukturen in Ländern und Kommunen nach der INSPIRE-Richtlinie
• Informationstechnik zur Unterstützung des Verwaltungsvollzugs in staatlichen und kommunalen Umweltverwaltungen
• Behörden übergreifende sowie behördeninterne Integration kommunaler Fachinformationssysteme
• Kommunale Verbrauchsdaten- und Umweltbilanzierungssysteme
• Kommunales Ver- und Entsorgungsmanagement

Termin: 11. September 2008

Leitung: Peter Fischer-Stabel, Andree Keitel, Andreas Möller

Spatial Data Infrastructures and Data Mining

Spatial data infrastructures (SDI) and data mining has been a key challenge of a modern society. The use of spatial information is now a central part of our daily life. One key to a sustainable future within the changing world is access to spatial information and to reach information by data mining that leads to better decision-making. This is not possible without building and maintaining spatial data infrastructures and data mining technology. Especially spatial data mining technology is critical to a number of application domains, including spatial and environmental planning, public health and safety, climatology, transportation, and mobile-commerce. Spatial data mining can be defined as the search of patterns that could exist in databases of spatial data infrastructures. Due to the advances in SDI development and scientific data collection we are faced with a large and continuously growing amount of data which makes it impossible to find out patterns and to discover knowledge in such databases manually.

The workshop aims to bring together some key researchers, producers, users and practitioners in SDI development, geographic information systems, and spatial data mining and ask them for contributions to the workshop. The main objectives of the workshop are:

• To provide an overview of SDI concepts, standards and practices associated with the implementation and operation of spatial data infrastructures with a focus on the national and European level.
• To discuss state-of-the-art of the spatial data mining technology and new methods and algorithms of this technology in the context of development and using of spatial data infrastructures.
• To demonstrate some applications of the spatial data mining technology in spatial and environmental research.

Nguyen Xuan Thinh

ICT-based Corporate Communication and Sustainability Reporting

14th Workshop of the Expert Group on Corporate Environmental Information Systems (Fachgruppe Betriebliche Umweltinformationssysteme, FG BUIS)

Sustainability reporting describes a development path towards a concept of balanced corporate reporting, usually communicating the three pillars of environmental, social, and economic performance and its mutual interrelations, what in business terms is called the triple bottom line approach or announced under the banner of CSR. While the early communication vehicles – the majority with an environmental focus – have been available on print media, today most have broadened their scope and are accessible on the WWW as HTML files. Standalone environmental focus, print media fixation, and layout oriented data formats, however, do not seem to be sufficient any longer, especially in terms content-syndication, harmonization, efficiencies, future ICT requirements, stakeholders’ expectations, and data exchange, be it inside and outside the companies.

Recent progress in ICT applications enables an array of unique capabilities to be employed for improving the communication of companies’ overall performance. They especially help to better integrate CSR issues into daily business, industrial environments, market communication, and various stakeholder relations. For example, information management can be improved in various ways: data relevant for performance in terms of sustainability is captured from different data sources, combined despite different data formats, analysed for decision making, professionally mastered and hypermedia-featured, customised according to specific information needs and certain guidelines, distributed and presented, e.g. via email, cross media, fax, or ordinary mail.

Focus and Scope

The goal of this workshop is to investigate and describe (i) how ICT could support sustainability issues – be it environmental-itensive or risk-driven – at firms’ level, and (ii) how ICT-based applications could be linked sucessfully with other methods, instruments, and tools along corporate (online) communication, finally to advance its use to operational sustainable business and to support managerial decision-making in a proper manner. As the overall aim, the workshop attempts to bridge the gap between the business-driven field of sustainability management and its different facets on the one hand and on the other, the technology-intensive area of ICT applications and environmental information systems.

Subject Coverage

We are looking forward to receiving contributions (best practice, concepts, analyses, solutions) including, but not limited to, the following topics:

• Stakeholder Management and User modeling
• CSR Communication
• Online Relations
• Sustainability Reporting
• Environmental Management Accounting
• Environmental Information Systems
• Web 2.0-Technologies and Social Software
• Software Tools and ICT Applications
• Controlling and Information Management Approaches
• Balanced Scorecard Concepts
• Insights from Business Informatics

Guest chairs and contact: Ralf Isenmann (, Claus Lang-Koetz, Jorge Marx Gómez

Instruments for supporting sustainable environmental planning

Managing environment is a complex issue. The integration of socio-economic and participation aspects makes it even more challenging. These integrated approaches are more and more required to meet goals of sustainable development which include not only a coherent mid- and long-term integration of divers work fields and demands but also integration of participation with stakeholders and the general public. Developing and coordinating measures and identifying fields of problems or synergies for coherent planning are key issues to be done. This is again more and more important – at least for certain regions - to implement adaptation strategies against dramatic land use changes and climate change impacts such as water shortage or increasing of flood risk.

Recently more and more legally instruments on the European level such as the Water Framework Directive (WFD), Strategic Impact Assessment (SIA) or the adopted Flood Risk Management Directive and other more are underlining these requirements.

The question is now how can (computer based) instruments help to cope with this challenge of complex planning and management and decision making processes.

The goal of this workshop is to bring together some key researchers, developers and potential end-users of computer based planning support systems (PSS) for discussion and exchange of experiences. The main objectives of the workshop are:

• To demonstrate some applications of the PSS technology in spatial and environmental planning and management
• To provide an overview of requirements of planning support systems and discuss the state-of-the-art
• Show good practise examples and exchange experiences in this field with the implementation and operation of to identify possible standards which can be recommended

Mariele Evers

Sharing Environmental Information – Towards an Integrated Information Space for the Environment in Europe

2nd Workshop on Public Access to Environmental Information in the EU

This second Workshop continues the series of subsequent EnviroInfo workshop meetings that matter-of-factly decide upon means and mechanisms for a structured and harmonised "Integrated Information Space for the Environment". As a basis, the Directive on public access to environmental information (2003/4/EC) requires Member States to progressively make available environmental information and disseminate it to the public. The first workshop deals with Shared Environmental Information Systems, field studies from three countries and fundamental aspects of building a Single Information Space for the Environment in Europe (SISEE).

This upcoming Workshop aims at broadening the scope on the implementation of an Environmental Information Space in the EU member states and on the development of ICT tools for this purpose.

The comprehensive implementation of directive 2003/4/EC requires a harmonised and integrated approach in order to foster the convergence of information, which is pervasively available on local, regional and national level. Furthermore, tools and services are needed to facilitate access and to contribute to a structured approach on the basis of international standards.

At this Workshop 8-10 presentations of 15-20 minutes are envisaged. A goal of this Workshop is to gather methods, tools and good practice cases for research on supranational ICT solutions. All contributions are welcome, which foster the technical, organizational and communicative management for converging environmental information to a European information space.

Finally, scope and agenda for a Union-wide workshop shall be elaborated, bringing together the main stakeholders on the occasion of EnviroInfo Berlin 2009.

Thomas Pick, Werner Pillmann, Werner Geiger

Open Source in the field of Environmental Informatics: Potentials, challenges, examples

In recent years a large number of open source solutions emerged which might be of special interest to Environmental Informatics with its wide range of applications. Today, Open source is not only a playground of universities, research institutes and committed individuals who are communicating via the Internet to make ideas come to reality. Open source is also increasingly reflected in the business models of large well-known IT companies which donate parts of their own software to the open source community.

In times of limited budgets the use of open source developments particularly in the context of environmental information systems appears to be promising. But it is still subject to verification which sort of open source software projects in the field of Environmental Informatics in general or as a base for e.g. developing industrial environmental information systems in particular will success-fully remain a part of the open source community.

Moreover, the use and integration of open source components into one's own software may not only be beneficial but on the other hand may result in risks and restrictions related to the use of one's own products. License models of open source products need to be carefully analyzed because these licenses might be automatically "inherited" to one’s own software by applying these products. Another point is how developers can meet the risk that open source products might no longer be maintained. Warranty claims for custom developments are a risk which should not be underestimated.

A certain charm lies in the creation and establishment of one’s own open source project. In order for this project to be successful certain conditions need to be met which need to be taken into account before launching an open source project. The workshop shall in this context be a forum for the presenting and discussing

• licensing experiences with open source components,
• economic aspects and business models which led to the use of open source components,
• client initiated open source developments and reasons for choosing this approach,
• existing open source initiatives in the field of Environmental Informatics, especially an open source platform for the development of industrial environmental information systems (e.g. benefits, effort in practice and how to contribute) and
• whether the field of Environmental Informatics needs its own open source platforms

Date: 11th of September 2008

Chairs: Michael Haase and Volker Wohlgemuth

ICT for risk, health and disaster management

The objectives are to share experiences with ICT on the following topics related to risk management :

• technical, chemical risks at regional and transboundary cartographic issues
• risk modelling issues for factories, railways, highways, pipelines, maritime traffic
• disaster management and emergency response
• data processing related to risk management issues
• health and biological risks issues for humans and the environment
• aircraft crash risks on infrastructure

These fields are both related to the follow-up of legislation and management for local and regional authorities as well as for factories owners of SME's and of transnational companies.
Researchers and technicians from public and private sector are invited to communicate experiences and discuss the necessary strategies for methodological, technical and managerial improvements.

At this workshop 8-10 presentations of 15-20 minutes are envisaged. A goal of this workshop is to gather methods and good practices for research and legal enforcement with local, regional and transboundary ICT solutions. Link with other thematic meetings of this topic with Codata and ICA will also be discussed.

Alberto Susini, Horst Kremers