Energy systems are enormous, complex, dynamical and adaptive. Understanding them is crucial as energy is the key to development and is the basis of modern technological societies. At the same time fossil fuels (oil, coal, and gas) provide over 80 percent of the energy in the 20th century and will, most likely, persist well into the 21st century in spite of concern for associated environmental impacts and climate change. How does one help transform existing and planned regional approached to provide affordable clean energy to 9 (maybe 10) billion people in the coming decades? This talk will describe the OpenModel project that is creating a Global Energy Observatory to build, with public participation, a comprehensive map of the world's energy systems so that we can understand regional variations, choices, and needs, and follow their full cycle: from sources to generation to global movements to use to impacts. The talk will then focus on the interplay between GIS tools and Volunteered Geographical Information, and address the issues of trust and quality in synthesizing heterogeneous data.