The Global Geodetic Observing System: The Organization
GGOS as an organization is an unifying umbrella for the IAG Services and an interface between the Services and the "outside world". Internally, the GGOS Committees, Science Panel and Working Groups focus on cross-cutting issues relevant for all Services. The research needed to achieve the goals of GGOS influences the agenda of the IAG Commissions and the GGOS Working Groups. Externally, GGOS provides the links between the IAG Services and the main programs in Earth observations and Earth science. It constitutes a unique interface for many users to the geodetic Services. In particular, GGOS participates on behalf of IAG in large international programs focusing on Earth observations.
According to the IAG By-Laws, GGOS "works with the IAG Services and Commissions to provide the geodetic infrastructure necessary for the monitoring of the Earth system and global change research." This statement implies a vision and a mission for GGOS. The implicit vision for GGOS is to empower Earth science to extend our knowledge and understanding of the Earth system processes, to monitor ongoing changes, and to increase our capability to predict the future behavior of the Earth system. Likewise, the embedded mission is to facilitate networking among the IAG Services and Commissions and other stakeholders in the Earth science and Earth Observation communities, to provide scientific advice and coordination that will enable the IAG Services to develop products with higher accuracy and consistency meeting the requirements of particularly global change research, and to improve the accessibility of geodetic observations and products for a wide range of users. The IAG Services, upon which GGOS is built, benefit from GGOS as a framework for communication, coordination, and scientific advice necessary to develop improved or new products with increased accuracy, consistency, resolution, and stability. IAG benefits from GGOS as an agent to improved visibility of geodesy's contribution to the Earth sciences and to society in general. The users, including the national members of IAG, benefit from GGOS as a single interface to the global geodetic observation system of systems maintained by the IAG Services not only for the access to products but also to voice their needs. Society benefits from GGOS as a utility supporting Earth science and global Earth observation systems as a basis for informed decisions.