Did you say Body of Knowledge?

[Written by Marc Olijslagers — KULeuven]

An image of the Body of Knowledge (BoK)

Why a Body of Knowledge?

The EO4GEO project aims to help to bridge the skills gap between supply and demand of education and training in the space/geospatial sector. To reach this goal a detailed understanding of the space/geospatial domain is essential.

With this in mind, it was decided to develop a Body of Knowledge (BoK) for the Earth Observation and Geospatial (EO/GI) domain. This BoK describes the EO/GI domain by defining the underpinning inter-related concepts. The knowledge in the BoK is a combination of knowledge, skills and competencies and entails different levels (EQF). This makes it usable in academic education and VET training curricula.

Earth observation and geospatial techniques are applied in a broad range of other domains. Similarly, knowledge and skills from outside the EO/GI world are often valuable for employees in the EO/GI sector. The possibility of linking the BoK on EO/GI to existing bodies of knowledge covering other domains is, therefore, an important future possibility.

Because the EO/GI sector is continuously evolving, the process of developing and maintaining the BoK will be dynamic and take into account new technology trends.

The creation of the BoK on EO/GI

In a previous project, GI-N2K, a first step was taken by creating a BoK on the geospatial domain. EO4GEO will enrich, modify and update this existing BoK and it will be extended, especially with new knowledge areas related to Earth Observation.

In this first stage of the project, the focus is on building a network of experts who want to participate in the process of developing the BoK. Professionals will support the description of the particular concepts (topics) in different inter-related knowledge areas. An initial set of EO knowledge areas is defined around which the experts will be grouped.

In parallel, tools and procedures to make the process of working on the BoK, within these expert groups but also between the different groups, are developed. Because the BoK will be a living and constantly evolving document, tools and procedures will support a sustainable and interactive maintenance of the BoK. In this way, it will contribute to the long term action plan of the EO4GEO project.

Finally, first steps were taken to continuously follow up new developments in EO/GI and related sectors. A technology trends watch will support the continuous and timely enrichment of the BoK with new concepts that are of importance for employees in the sector. The main goal of this is to prevent new skills gaps to arise in the future.