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Spatial data infrastructure as an open digital platform for digital government

Thorben Hansen

(Submission #130)


Society is undergoing a fundamental change, where digital business becomes the basis for value creation.

We see how digitization finds its way into virtually all aspects of life and how digital methods become the predominant way to create or exchange something of value.

One of the prime drivers behind this development is the advent of digital platforms, where two (or more) groups of users are brought together in two- (or multi-)sided networks. Platforms provide infrastructure and rules that facilitate the groups’ transactions. The groups are often referred to as consumers and providers.

We already know platforms from many aspects of today’s life, and we see how they have the potential of changing the way business is done in different areas. Think how credit cards changed the way consumers pay merchants, how online recruitment changed the way job seekers connect to employers, how ridesharing apps changed the way passengers make arrangement with drivers – and how mapping-websites changed the way consumers are matched with advertisers based on location.

A platform business model is based on a business design that leverages networks amongst providers, consumers and ecosystem partners that uses it in order to match, create or exchange “something of value” for the benefit of all stakeholders involved. Spatial data infrastructure (SDI) is by nature a digital platform. The INSPIRE directive describes the business model as follows: “Spatial data come from many sources and is used within many domains. An efficient use of government resources requires that spatial data is stored, made available and maintained at the most appropriate level and that it is possible to combine spatial data from different sources and share them between several users and applications” – i.e. a digital platform that brings together spatial data providers and users within many domains.

Digital government is digital business. Digital government is data-driven. Good and reliable data is crucial for making informed and transparent decisions. SDI is the digital platform that enables efficient making and utilization of spatial data, and authenticated government geodata is offered under the umbrella of national SDIs. Altogether, this means that the digital SDI platform is a critical component for digital government.

The presentation will discuss what SDI can learn from mainstream digital platforms concepts and what it takes from SDI to be a viable digital platform in an ecosystem supporting digital government. The discussion will address technology, standards, participants, roles and governance topics around an open, non-commercial digital SDI platform. Examples will be given regarding the roles of and cooperation between public and private sector organisations.


Topic Area:  [2.1] National approaches and strategies
Abstract Type:  Oral Presentation

Additional Fields

Academic:   Yes
Data Provider:   Yes
Data User:   Yes
INSPIRE Implementer (IT):   Yes
INSPIRE newbies:   No
Policy Officers:   Yes
Public Administration (MS/Regional/Local):   No
Thematic specialists:   No
Comments:   digital business - digital government - digital platform - spatial data infrastructure (SDI) - ecosystem

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