Infrastructure Engineering - Research Publications

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    Hierarchical spatial reasoning applied to spatial data infrastructures
    RAJABIFARD, ABBAS ; ESCOBAR, FRANCISCO ; Williamson, Ian P. ( 2000)
    Many countries throughout the world believe they can benefit both economically and environmentallyfrom better management of their spatial data assets, enabling them to access and retrieve complete andconsistent datasets in an easy and secure way. This has resulted in the development of the Spatial DataInfrastructure (SDI) concept at various political and/or administrative levels. The SDI concept has beenrepresented by different descriptions of its nature, however, currently these demonstrate an overlysimplisticunderstanding of the concept.The simplicity in existing definitions has been slow to incorporate the concept of an integrated, multilevelledSDI formed from a hierarchy of inter-connected SDIs at corporate, local, state/provincial,national, regional (multi-national) and global (GSDI) levels. Failure to incorporate this multidimensionality,and the dynamic mechanistic and functional roles of the SDI, have rendered manydescriptions of SDI inadequate to describe the complexity and the dynamics of SDI as it develops, andthus ultimately constrain SDI achieving developmental potential in the future.As a result, the objective of this paper is to demonstrate the fitness and applicability of HierarchicalSpatial Reasoning (HSR) as a theoretical framework to demonstrate the multi-dimensional nature ofSDIs. It is argued that by better understanding and demonstrating the nature of an SDI hierarchy, anySDI development can gain support from a wider community of both government and non-governmentdata users and providers. The findings presented in this paper build on the authors' experiences inRegional SDI (multi-national) development and HSR.