Infrastructure Engineering - Research Publications

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    Facilitating disaster management using SDI
    Mansourian, A. ; Rajabifard, A. ; Valadan Zoej, M. J. ; Williamson, I. ( 2004)
    The role of spatial data and related technologies in disaster management has been well-known worldwide. One of the challenges concerned with such a role is access to and usage of reliable, accurate and up-to-date spatial data for disaster management. This is a very important aspect to disaster response as timely, up-to-date and accurate spatial data describing the current situation is paramount to successfully responding to an emergency. This includes information about available resources, access to roads and damaged areas, required resources, and required disaster response operations that should be available and accessible for use in a short period of time. Sharing this information between involved parties in disaster management is a challenge to facilitate coordinated disaster response operations. This paper aims to address the role of Spatial Data Infrastructures (SDI) as a framework for facilitating disaster management. It is argued that the design and implementation of an SDI model as a framework and consideration of SDI development factors and issues can assist disaster management agencies to improve the quality of their decision-making and increase efficiency and effectiveness in all levels of disaster management activities. The paper is based on an ongoing research project on the development of an SDI conceptual model for disaster management in Iran. This includes the development of a prototype web-based system which can facilitate sharing, access and use of data in disaster management and particularly disaster response.
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    Automatic spatial metadata enrichment: reducing metadata creation burden through spatial folksonomies
    Kalantari, Mohsen ; OLFAT, HAMED ; RAJABIFARD, ABBAS (Leuven University Press, 2010)
    Metadata plays a key role in facilitating access to up-to-date spatial information and contributes to the finding and delivering of high quality spatial information services to users. In particular, metadata is an important element in functioning and facilitating spatial data infrastructure (SDI) initiatives. With huge amount of spatial information being generated, a spatial application must be sufficiently flexible to extract and update spatial metadata automatically. Automatic spatial metadata generation framework includes three fundamental but complementary streams; automatic creation, automatic update and automatic enrichment of spatial metadata. This paper explores the automatic metadata enrichment stream based on the tagging and folksonomy concepts. The paper argues how folksonomies help bringing the vocabulary of spatial data users into play and using them hand in hand with those sometimes mysterious terms supplied by experts in metadata records. The paper then builds on the tagging and folksonomy concepts and proposes a conceptual model to employ them for spatial metadata enrichment. The paper finally discusses advantages and disadvantages of this approach against formal type of organizing spatial metadata.
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    Using SDI and web-based system to facilitate disaster management
    Mansourian, A ; Rajabifard, A ; Zoej, MJV ; Williamson, I (PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD, 2006-04-01)
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    Facilitating urban management through local SDI case study: the Municipality of Tehran
    OLFAT, HAMED ; RAJABIFARD, ABBAS ; Qureshi, Faisal Masood ; Daneshpour, Seyyed Abdolhadi ( 2009)
    Integrated and sustainable management of cities is one of the most important challenges facing many countries. In this critical societal challenge context, spatial data is key for decision making, planning and management of cities. Thus, in order to have sustainable management and planning there is a need for managers and planners to have access to reliable, seamless and accurate spatial data. However, the current situation regarding availability, integration, sharing and its effective application by planners and decision makers is not very promising in many jurisdictions worldwide including Iran and Pakistan- the two countries under study by authors. Based on current situation, in urban management in Iran there is a need for an agreed platform that facilitates access to and sharing of spatially related data, services and other resources among different disciplines within any jurisdiction. This platform should also address characteristics such as standards and specifications for data collection, management, maintenance and distribution of spatial data. Having said that, in order to facilitate this situation and respond to the needs, many countries are developing Spatial Data Infrastructures (SDIs) which is a concept for facilitating and coordinating of sharing and integrating of data through different political and administrative levels. SDI can be developed at different levels ranging from local to state/provincial, national, regional and global. SDI as a platform can help to reduce the duplication and save resources in data collection which usually occur due to unknown information about availability of datasets among different urban organizations. In addition, organizations involve in urban planning can have access to a comprehensive dataset of the interested area like a city to achieve sustainable urban planning. This paper discusses the importance and benefits of developing SDI as an enabling platform for urban planning and management based on a case study, namely Tehran Municipality in Iran by exploring challenges and issues in accessing and sharing spatial data in this jurisdiction. The paper then presents and discusses the process and experiences of developing an SDI Roadmap for this municipality.
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    SDI governance bridging the gap between people and geospatial resources
    Box, Paul ; RAJABIFARD, ABBAS ( 2009)
    Organisational arrangements have long been recognised as a critical enabler and fundamental component of Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI). More recently, the term “governance” has become increasingly used to refer to aspects of institutional frameworks that support SDI. However, given the polysemous nature of the term and the evolving nature of approaches to implementing SDI, it not clear exactly what is meant by the term “SDI governance” and thus the scope, nature and challenges of governance are not well understood. Through an exploration of concepts and model of governance in a variety of contexts, a conceptual model of SDI governance is being developed. An investigation of practical realities of governance in four Australian SDI initiatives has been used to inform the development of this model. This paper provides an overview of the concepts of governance, presents some key findings from the Australian SDI cases studies; and describes an initial conceptual model of governance.
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    A strategy framework to facilitate spatially enabled Victoria
    Thomas, Elizabeth ; Hedberg, Ollie ; THOMPSON, BRUCE ; RAJABIFARD, ABBAS ( 2009)
    Spatial Information is at a critical turning point in its development. More people are using it for a wider range of purposes, including social networking; technology is changing the way we communicate with each other; there are new ways of thinking about ‘location’; and big corporate players are entering the market and are starting to drive standards. At the same time, all levels of government, business and the community face significant challenges in producing and using products and services in environmentally and socially sustainable ways. Spatial information has an integral part to play in developing solutions to these challenges. But this cannot be achieved without a clear strategy and a framework that harnesses everyone’s skills and expertise. Victoria is fast being recognised as a leader in many aspects of State SDI development in Australia and internationally. The Victorian Spatial Council – which is the peak body that provides a coordinated approach to policy and development and management of spatial information – has recently painted the emerging landscape for spatial information in Victoria. Through the Victorian Spatial Information Strategy 2008-2010 it highlights some of the changes occurring in spatial information and technology and the key challenges they pose, and sets the broad themes for facilitating the whole spatial information community’s participation in that landscape. VSIS is a basis for delivering spatially enabled Victoria. At the same time, it considers that spatial information should be seen as part of the wider information resource created by and available to society. It presents a challenging agenda and the strategic framework it sets out lays the foundation for fulfilling the promises that are held out by the developments it describes. This paper aims to present and discuss VSIS, its development process and its role in connecting all levels of government, the private sector, utilities, academia, the professions and a wider community from a spatial data perspective. The paper starts with a discussion on the importance of having a spatial information framework in the context of spatially enabled society and then discusses the central role VSIS plays in facilitating the spatially enabled vision in Victoria. The paper then highlights a range of activities and processes to be undertaken across all disciplines and sectors to facilitate framework development. This includes aspects of design, creation, governance and processes involved in developing an enabling platform, and the overall relations between different challenges to facilitate spatial data activities. The results and lessons learned from the development of the strategy can be used and applied in other jurisdictions, at both national and global levels.
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    An initial formal model for a Spatial Data Infrastructure
    Hjelmager, Jan ; Moellering, Harold ; Delgado, Tatiana ; COOPER, ANTONY ; RAJABIFARD, ABBAS ; Rapant, Petr ; Danko, David ; Huet, Michel ; Laurent, Dominique ; Aalders, Henri ; Iwaniak, Adam ; Abad, Paloma ; Duren, Ulrich ; Martynenko, Alexander ( 2008)
    The Commission on Spatial Data Standards of the International Cartographic Association (ICA) is working on defining formal models and technical characteristics of Spatial Data Infrastructures (SDI). To date, this work has been restricted to the Enterprise and Information Viewpoints from the ISO Reference Model for Open Distributed Processing (RM-ODP) standard. The Commission has developed models for these two viewpoints. These models describe how the different parts of an SDI fit together in the viewpoints in question. These models should be seen as a contribution towards the overall model of the SDI and its technical characteristics. During the model development process, the roles of the different Actors in an SDI in the Enterprise and Information Viewpoints have also been identified in Use Case diagrams of an SDI. All the models have been developed using the Unified Modeling Language(UML).