Building SDIs: the challenges ahead
AuthorWilliamson, I. P.
Source TitleProceedings, The 7th GSDI Conference
University of Melbourne Author/sWilliamson, Ian
AffiliationEngineering: Department of Geomatics
Document TypeConference Paper
CitationsWilliamson, I. P. (2004) Building SDIs: the challenges ahead, in Proceedings, The 7th GSDI Conference, Bangalore, India.
Access StatusOpen Access
The spatial information vision for most countries is to create a virtual state where any spatial information is available to any user, any time and any place. This is a simplistic vision that presents many challenges, with the major challenge being the creation of a spatial data infrastructure (SDI) to support the vision. Importantly unless we can agree on a spatial information vision for each country, we cannot create a SDI vision. SDI is a rapidly evolving concept with a resulting lack of definition and clarity. However it is generally agreed that SDIs comprise people, access issues, policies, standards and data issues with all presenting major challenges if SDIs are to mature and deliver the spatial information vision. First, people are intimately involved with creating the capacity to design, build and maintain SDIs. With this in mind, there is relatively little attention to building the body of knowledge to increase SDI capacity. For example how many university courses in the spatial sciences include a course on SDI? Second, access is dependent on capacity, policies, standards and data and a whole range of technologies. All these dependencies present challenges in the rapidly evolving ICT environment. For example the impact of the web, communications and positioning technologies, and data base technologies are changing our understanding of the SDI concept. Third, while some excellent attempts have been made at developing SDI policies, or in many jurisdictions "spatial information strategies", most of the international focus and research has been on national initiatives that are only one level in the SDI hierarchy from corporate SDIs to global SDIs. The challenges in understanding the various levels and moving up and down the SDI hierarchy as well as within levels are enormous but must be met if the SDI vision is to be a reality.Within individual countries a key challenge is how to incorporate large scale and people relevant data into the national S
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