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Evolving Spatial Data Infrastructures and the importance of SDI governance

Jaap-Willem Sjoukema

(Submission #339)


Spatial data infrastructures (SDI’s) play nowadays an increasing role in the governance of society. Considering the importance of SDI’s it is surprising that the governance of SDI’s itself did not receive much scientific and practical attention. This is partly due to the complex, multi-stakeholders, multi-level, technical and open nature of SDI’s. Former weaker SDI-components, such as standards, technology and data have significantly improved over the years. It might well be that SDI-governance is the “weakest link” of current SDIs. A challenge in researching and practicing SDI governance, is that ideas about both governance and SDI’s are not stationary, but change over time. SDI’s are constantly challenged by new technologies and user demands. What we now think of ‘good governance’ or ‘good SDI’s’ could be very different of how we evaluate these subjects in the future. And being fully aware of the societal impact of rapid technological developments, this future can be quite near. Adaptability seems therefore an important feature of SDI governance. But in practice this ability to adapt is in many cases limited by project-based budgets, low political awareness and difficulties to handle and involve the growing group of SDI stakeholders. However, despite the lack of attention towards SDI governance, the need to govern an SDI has always existed. Important lessons can therefore be learned from the past. This presentation therefore follows and compares the start, development and evolution of two large-scale base maps: the Grootschalige Referentiebestand (GRB) from Flanders, Belgium, and the Basisregistratie Grootschalige Topografie (BGT) from the Netherlands. These base maps have quite similar goals, features and uses, but a different governance structure. Also the development of both base maps was not easy, as different challenges occurred, which made governance interventions necessary. This presentation will highlight these interventions and draws lessons from these cases in order to make SDI governance more adaptive.


Topic Area:  [2.3] Technologies and tools to support implementing, using and assessing the technical implementation of INSPIRE
Abstract Type:  Oral Presentation

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Comments:   Unfortunately I missed the deadline because I was on holiday. I hope you can still consider my abstract. Many thanks in advance!

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