31 July 2017

The 2017 United Nations-Global Geospatial Information Management Academic Network (UN-GGIM) Forum with the theme “Secure Land Rights and Smart Cities – Making it Work for Sustainable Development” was successfully held on 31 July 2017 at UN Headquarter in New York as part of the Seventh Session of the United Nations Committee of Experts on GGIM. The Forum brought together over 100 delegates and geospatial experts and academics from over 50 Member States, academic institutions, and the private sector. The outcomes of presentations and panels further emphasized the need and significance of developing a roadmap to effectively secure land rights, achieve the sustainable development goals (SDGs) and build smart cities for all, in which geospatial information will play a critical role. The Forum has established a dialogue and a platform for exchanging ideas regarding land rights and exploring its relationship to smart cities while addressing challenges and opportunities. You can access the full report of the Forum discussions and outcomes here

Who Are We?

A formal body constituted as part of the United Nations Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM). The Academic Network is the strategic knowledge, research and training arm of it.



  • Provide academic counsel and guidance to UN-GGIM concerning strategic knowledge, research, education and training and to serve as a strategic academic arm for UN-GGIM and its related organizations and affiliated members in achieving their visions and goals.
  • Provide a forum for coordination and dialogue among academics and researchers from the geospatial information management community with a view to advance activities related to the administration, management, and use of geospatial information, and to identify and respond to challenges and opportunities in which UN-GGIM and related members can achieve their visions.
  • Provide a platform that the needs of member countries for geospatial information data, technology, training and education, and the information of the capacities of academic network members are shared, so that geospatial data, technology, training and education can be widely used through this platform.
  • To advise and support geospatial information and land administration training and capacity building programs of the UN-GGIM.
  • To offer advice in response to UN-GGIM questions, identify and inform UN-GGIM concerning academic knowledge gaps or problems that may exist or arise, and propose initiatives as appropriate to address such questions and challenges.
  • Bring to the attention of UN-GGIM and its regional organizations state-of-the-art research and academic trends on global geospatial information, or write white papers on any of related topics, and also offer training/ education in those fields.
  • Create a communication platform for member countries to bring to the attention of the Academic Network key problems and areas of research that are of high interest to local, national and regional organizations.
  • Address governance, data management, institutional, technology adoption and sustainability issues related to the management of geospatial information.
  • Undertake work that is able to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN and other areas as appropriate including, access to land, property rights, ownership, land degradation, rapid urbanization, and climate change, in coordination with other expert entities.
  • Undertake activities that foster collaboration between universities and research groups at an international level, including to identify and address common research topics and overarching trends;
  • Promote and encourage close collaboration between Universities and their national geospatial counterparts.
  • Encourage the development and sharing of geospatial analytics.

Member Universities

The following map identifies the UN-GGIM Academic Network Member Universities.