Research and Theory in Advancing Spatial Data Infrastructure Concepts
At a high level, the term “spatial data infrastructure” (SDI) is largely self-explanatory. Yet when applied in practice, the concept is complex and has attracted varying definitions in different institutional, social and national contexts. In many nations the assumption is that an SDI is the geographic information technology component of electronic governance. In these nations there may be a strong focus on government itself actively supplying or at least facilitating the creation and maintenance of each of the above elements in order to achieve government objectives. In other nations, government may consciously take a much more passive role in regard to provisioning elements such as geographic data, framework data, metadata, services, and clearinghouses. Rather, governments in these nations may focus on promoting standards, capacity building, and interoperable frameworks and technologies in order to encourage actors other than government to create and maintain SDI elements that will meet broader societal and economic goals in addition to the more direct objectives of meeting government agency missions. A great deal of practical experience is being gained and experimentation is occurring in determining appropriate mixes of actors, activities, and information technologies to support SDI developments in different local, sub-national, national and multi-national contexts. Scholarly investigators across the globe are playing a significant role in questioning and determining the extent to which social and governmental goals are being met and under what conditions. Most of the papers in this volume explore policy and institutional challenges to sharing geo-referenced data, implementing or improving infrastructure in order to achieve desired outcomes, or enhancing the effectiveness and efficiency of SDI operations. Together they provide a global overview of the status and aspirations of spatial data infrastructure developments.
. Research and Theory in Advancing Spatial Data Infrastructure Concepts. Redlands CA: ESRI Press, 2007.