Future directions for SDI assessment
AuthorCROMPVOETS, JOEP; RAJABIFARD, ABBAS; van Loenen, Bastiaan; Fernandez, Tatiana Delgado
Source TitleGSDI 11 World Conference
AffiliationFaculty of Engineering, Geomatics
Document TypeConference Paper
CitationsCrompvoets, J., Rajabifard, A., van Loenen, B., & Fernandez, T. D. (2009). Future directions for SDI assessment. In GSDI 11 World Conference , Rotterdam, The Netherlands .
Access StatusOpen Access
This is a preprint of a paper from GSDI 11 World Conference 15-19 June 2009 published by Global Spatial Data Infrastructure Association http://www.gsdi.org/gsdiConferences
Over the last few years development of Spatial Data Infrastructures (SDIs) have become an important subject and platform in Geo-Information Science to facilitate and coordinate the exchange and sharing of spatial data between stakeholders in the spatial data community. Its significance was demonstrated by numerous initiatives all over the world at different jurisdictional levels (global, regional, national and local levels). Large sums of money have been invested into SDI initiatives over the last few years. Worldwide around €120 million is spent each year just on clearinghouse management (Crompvoets, 2006). The investment requirements for an Infrastructure for Spatial Information in the European Community (INSPIRE) at European, national, regional and local levels are estimated to be from €202 to €273 million each yea(INSPIRE, 2003). Given this expenditure and society’s interest in the proper and effective use of public funds, it is imperative that these SDI initiatives should be assessed. The assessment of SDIs can help to better understand the issues, to find best practice for certain tasks, and to improve the system as a whole and therefore it play a crucial role in the management of our spatial data and that pertaining to the administration of our societies. In addition, SDI assessment is increasingly attracting the attention of both public sector bureaucrats seeking justification for providing public sources to SDI, and SDI practitioners requiring a measure of success of their SDI strategy. For example, the implementation of the European directive establishing an Infrastructure for Spatial Information in the European Community requires monitoring and regular reporting (European Commission, 2007). However, assessment and evaluation of SDI initiatives is difficult due to a number of reasons. Even within the SDI community there are differences in the understanding of SDI and its potential benefits. Craglia and Nowak (2006) raise this issue when reporting on the key findings of the International Workshop on SDI’s Cost-Benefit. Many researchers have tried to assess SDIs (Crompvoets, 2006; Delgado-Fernandez and Crompvoets, 2007; Delgado-Fernandez et al, 2005; Kok and van Loenen, 2005; Masser, 1999; Onsrud, 1998; Rodriguez-Pabon, 2005; Vandenbroucke, 2005; Steudler et al, 2004). All these attempts, however useful and valuable, either concentrate on one aspect of SDI, or are bounded by one region, or describe SDI development in few particular countries, or are still conceptual in nature. There is much confusion resulting from the lack of an agreed definition of SDI, its components and the relationships between them. Moreover, different studies on SDI assessment identify different benefits and assign them to different categories. Similar conclusions were also reported at the international workshop ‘Exploring Spatial Data Infrastructures’ (Grus et al, 2006). This makes it difficult to identify uniform criteria of merit for SDI inputs, utility, outputs and outcomes. SDI is also difficult to assess because of its complex, dynamic, multi-faceted and constantly evolving nature, and vaguely defined objectives. SDIs also differ between countries as the same implementing rules may cause different results. For example, at the European level, the INSPIRE directive lays down general rules for establishing an SDI for the European Community (European Commission, 2007). Nevertheless, despite the fact that SDIs in the member states will behave and operate in a similar general way as indicated by the directive, they will never be the same, and sometimes will differ considerably depending on political, economic and cultural national circumstances.
KeywordsSpatial Data Infrastructure, SDI, spatial data, SDI assessment community
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