From silos to networks - will users drive spatial data infrastructures in the future?

McDougall, Kevin (2010) From silos to networks - will users drive spatial data infrastructures in the future? In: 24th International Federation of Surveyors International Congress (FIG 2010): Facing the Challenges - Building the Capacity, 11-16 Apr 2010, Sydney, Australia.

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Spatial data infrastructures (SDI) have continued to evolve over the past 20 years from top-down policy driven initiatives to increasingly bottom-up approaches where lower levels of government are now active participants in building local SDI. Government mapping agencies at the national and state levels are now no longer willing to fund the ongoing cost of traditional mapping either in hard or digital formats. Cost recovery efforts by governments in the 1990s in Australia were generally unsuccessful and consequential changes to reduce government expenditure by shifting the costs across to the private sector soon followed. Spatial data infrastructures have moved to reduce the duplication of jurisdictional efforts whilst at the same time providing portals which promote the wider utilisation of spatial data across the community. Although government continue to have a major role in the ongoing development of SDI, it has become apparent that the driving forces are longer vested in the traditional government data custodians, but increasingly with the data users and value-adders.

This paper explores the progressive development of spatial data infrastructures and the more recent phenomena that is become known as volunteered geographic information (VGI). The significant change in balance in the role of traditional government agencies and the increasing advocacy of private sector organisations and individuals in the collection and management of spatial data will inevitably have an impact on the development of future SDI models. It is proposed that future SDI models will move from being government centric to user driven models where private sector organisations and individuals will play a key role. This trend may challenge the role traditional mapping agencies and introduce higher levels of complexity within our current SDI models. The issues and opportunities in developing a network approach to SDI are discussed and the possible role of volunteered geographic information is examined.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: This publication is copyright. It may be reproduced in whole or in part for the purposes of study, research, or review, but is subject to the inclusion of an acknowledgment of the source. Authors retain copyright. Papers published at
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - Department of Surveying and Land Information
Date Deposited: 17 Jul 2010 02:25
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2016 06:22
Uncontrolled Keywords: social networks; spatial data infrastructure; volunteered geographic information
Fields of Research : 09 Engineering > 0909 Geomatic Engineering > 090906 Surveying (incl. Hydrographic Surveying)
16 Studies in Human Society > 1605 Policy and Administration > 160510 Public Policy
08 Information and Computing Sciences > 0806 Information Systems > 080606 Global Information Systems
Socio-Economic Objective: B Economic Development > 89 Information and Communication Services > 8999 Other Information and Communication Services > 899999 Information and Communication Services not elsewhere classified

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