The role of the private sector in global geospatial initiatives with Dr Zaffar Sadiq Mohamed-Ghouse

The role of the private sector in global geospatial initiatives with Dr Zaffar Sadiq Mohamed-Ghouse

In this episode of Mapping the Conversations, host Valrie Grant sits down with geospatial industry luminary Dr Zaffar Mohamed-Ghouse to explore the uncharted potentials of location intelligence and its vital role in harmonizing humanity's relationship with Earth. Their dialogue orbits around the transformative impacts and burgeoning innovations in the field of geospatial technology. This conversation delves into Dr Zaffar's rich background, his professional journey, and his leadership in global geospatial initiatives like the UN-GGIM.

Dr Zaffar elucidates the significance of the UN-GGIM's mission, which serves as the converging platform for member states to collaborate on global geospatial issues. The episode highlights the critical role of the private sector in advancing geospatial technology's reach and capabilities. Dr Zaffar shares insight into the collaborative opportunities available within the UN-GGIM Private Sector Network, and their contribution to global sustainability efforts, including climate change mitigation and disaster recovery.

About the Guest

Prof Dr Zaffar Sadiq Mohamed-Ghouse is a second-generation geospatial professional with a profound lineage in the geospatial industry, tracing his interest back to his father's work in satellite imagery for agricultural applications. With a solid foundation in computer science engineering and specialization in remote sensing, Dr Zaffar has amassed extensive experience, particularly in India with the Institute of Remote Sensing. His career and expertise are marked by his dedication to problem-solving, social transformation through technology, and significant contributions to rural development through geospatial information systems. He is currently recognized for his leadership roles, including serving as the chair of the UN-GGIM (United Nations Global Geospatial Information Management) Private Sector Network.

Key takeaways

  • Dr Zaffar Sadiq Mohamed-Ghouse's career in the geospatial industry was influenced by his father's work in agriculture using remote sensing technology.
  • The UN-GGIM serves as a global forum for member states to discuss and collaborate on geospatial information management issues.
  • The UN-GGIM Private Sector Network, chaired by Dr Zaffar, is a pivotal platform for companies to engage with and support the UN-GGIM's objectives.
  • There is an emphasis on responsible governance in the geospatial industry, particularly with regards to climate change, sustainability, and the Fifth Industrial Revolution.
  • Collaborative projects and innovative approaches such as GeoAI are essential for advancing the field and tackling global challenges.


  • "The attraction for me on this particular field is more what I enjoy is problem solving and trying to take this technology to rural areas." – Dr Zaffar Sadiq Mohamed-Ghouse
  • "Private sector are the community that is able to scale up any sort of solutions that the industry is looking for." – Dr Zaffar Sadiq Mohamed-Ghouse
  • "It's about nation-building. It is about building the world. And everyone has a role in order to build their respective nations being in government, private academia or non-governmental organization." – Dr Zaffar Sadiq Mohamed-Ghouse
  • "We as geospatial professionals [are] trying to bring [an] enduring impact on developing a sustainable world." – Dr Zaffar Sadiq Mohamed-Ghouse
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