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The IUFRO Global Forest Information Service Towards a Common Resource

By Risto Päivinen, Tim Richards, Nguyen Thanh Binh and Richard Wood


Abstract. The Global Forest Information Service (GFIS) arises from calls by the intergovernmental forest processes (IPF, IFF and UNFF) to facilitate access to forest information and the multiple benefits thereof. GFIS is being facilitated by a IUFRO Task Force that has a broad and increasing membership from across all geographic regions. GFIS is envisaged primarily as an electronic system that utilises the Internet to facilitate information resource discovery, through access to a distributed network of information providers. The evolution of GFIS has been taking place during a period of very rapid changes in the technologies associated with the Internet and the World Wide Web. Both the GFIS community and the web technologies are now sufficiently mature to move from proof of concept towards a semi-operational prototype. Key components of GFIS are metadata standards, controlled vocabularies and database interoperability. The GFIS ‘Vision ’ is described together with the ongoing work of sibling projects and current activity on a GFIS Unified Modelling Language schema, an extensible forest metadata standard, a controlled vocabulary of forest terms and a preliminary GFIS XML Document Type Definition for transfer of forest information. I

Year: 2009
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