Infrastructure Engineering - Research Publications

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    Awareness as a foundation for developing effective spatial data infrastructures
    The development of an effective spatial data infrastructure (SDI) often occurs in a fragmented organizational environment requiring a high level of inter-organizational collaboration. Different organizations from various jurisdictions needs to work together closely when agreeing on how they will jointly register, store, use and share data and how they will make their data available to the wider society. This collaboration is generally regarded as very difficult. In particular, organizational issues are considered one of the key fundamental constraints to inter-organizational sharing of spatial data. But what makes collaboration effective and successful? For example people often resist sharing data across organizational boundaries due to loss of control, power and independency. In the spatial community, the term awareness is often used when discussing issues concerned with inter-organizational collaboration. However, a major problem by using the term awareness in discussions of inter-organizational collaboration is that awareness is undefined and often misused as a term in the spatial data handling community. The (over)-use of the term awareness, without having a rigorous definition to rely upon increases the difficulty of understanding and developing collaboration issues. The difficulty in quantifying and describing issues in collaboration make the development of effective spatial data infrastructures problematic since this development should be based on a conceptual framework that clearly addresses the problems spatial organizations currently encounter. As a result, the focus of this paper is on the nature and role of awareness. It explores why and how awareness plays a fundamental role in overcoming organizational constraints and in developing collaboration between organizations. The paper discusses the concept of awareness in the area of organizational collaboration in the spatial community, explains the important role awareness plays in the development of spatial data infrastructures, and introduces a methodology to promote awareness. Furthermore, the paper aims to make people in the community more aware of the use of the term "awareness" – when to use it, how to use it and especially important, how not to use it. The paper will use land administration systems as the discipline for investigating awareness.
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    Beyond spatial enablement: engaging government, industry and citizens
    In response to challenges at all scales, there is an increasing use of geographic information technologies and spatial data infrastructures to underpin location-based information for better decision-making. Spatial enablement uses the concept of place and location to organise information and processes and is now a ubiquitous part of e-Government and broader government ICT strategies. But for spatial enablement to occur, it needs to be regarded as a concept that permeates all levels of society – government, industry and citizens. The spatial community needs to make location, innovation and collaboration its key priorities to not only realise the vision of spatial enablement, but to move beyond it. Collaboration across levels drives spatial innovation to make better use of the available geo-spatial information and to create new, smart applications to harness, integrate and interpret this data. An enabling platform is key to facilitating delivery of spatial data and services. Establishing new partnerships will bring together communities of practice and enable knowledge sharing to overcome both technical and non-technical issues that still persist in realising spatial enablement.