MCDOUGALL, KEVIN; RAJABIFARD, ABBAS; WILLIAMSON, IAN
(Netherlands Geodetic Commission, 2009)
Local government has been recognised as an early leader in the development, deployment and innovation in spatial information systems. The introduction of corporate wide spatial data portals within local government was as significant as the release of Google Earth to the wider public. Although these information systems continue to expand and mature, the potential for these local spatial data infrastructures (SDIs) to contribute to higher level SDI initiatives remain largely unrealised. This article explores local government SDI within Australia to assess its capacity to contribute to higher level SDI initiatives. A comprehensive survey of over 100 local government authorities was undertaken to assess their SDI capacity and collaborative initiatives. The results were analysed to identify factors that contribute to their successful local SDI development and, more widely, to the development of higher level SDI initiatives through data sharing partnerships. The findings from the analysis indicate that suitable policy frameworks, an understanding of business needs, organisational support and ability to access data through equitable sharing arrangements are critical drivers in building and developing SDI from the local level.