Permanent Networking Facility
Inclusion of all Balkan countries into GEO and their contribution to GEOSS is of great importance, since only a comprehensive EO framework can lead to better understanding and more intelligent utilization of the environmental resources, increased quality of life and faster economic development. The importance and benefits from participation in global EO initiatives have already been recognized by several Balkan countries.
Permanent Networking Facility (PNF) is "the Balkan Earth observation directory”, with tools for easy and user-friendly partner and expertise search. Initially PNF included data acquired during the identification of EO players and activities in the Balkan region in the frame of the FP7 project BalkanGEONet. Today it is open to all users and its database is extended through a continuous voluntary inputs by EO stakeholders.
PNF aims to strengthen the collaboration between data providers and users in the region. Expected EO players are:
(1) EO-data providers at all levels (national, county, city) such as state directorates/companies for management of natural resources (water, forests, oil, etc), institutions for public health, meteorological and hydrological services as well as other agencies responsible for environmental data management; research entities devoted to development of EO-data acquisition tools and their implementation; and
(2) EO-data users: ministries, governmental bodies at all levels, universities, institutes, R&D departments, companies that deal with spatial data. The role of this task is to identify relevant information about abovementioned stakeholders.
Each new input passes through a strict validation process, so database users can be sure that the provided information are accurate and reliable. Within PNF one can find numerous links to relevant web-sites, projects, etc.
PNF is based on the GEOSS data sharing principle which states that “all data, metadata and products for use in education and research will be encouraged to be made available free of charge or at no more than the cost of reproduction.” All users of PNF are encouraged to register components not limited to those resulting from work undertaken within the scope of the BalkanGEONet project in the GEOSS Components registry.