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NGDI: A Simplified Approach

Prabhakar Misra
Email: [email protected]

While formulating NGDI it will be important to recognise all the factors which influnce on any management of the technological change at the beginning itself

The concept of National Geospatial Data Infrastructure (NGDI) has been discussed at length at the Workshop held on 5th and 6th February 2001at New Delhi. Some of the existing data-infrastructure (DI) models practised abroad were also presented by the representatives from USA, UK, Netherlands, Brazil and Nepal. Their working models of DI did provide the framework of concepts for evolving a suitable NGDI in India. It is in the context of the deliberations, comments and conclusions of the Workshop that this ‘simplified approach’ is being proposed.

In this context, it will be important to recognise all the factors which influnce on any management of the technological change at the very beginning of the change. These, very briefly, are as follows:

For progress we must change, but mere change is no progress
The change(s) therefore must be justified on the (measurable) yardstick of ‘productivity’ (time, cost and accuracy) and streamlining of the processes. Undoubtedly NGDI will prove a boon and fulfill a long felt need of sharing of spatial data. Without such an arrangement like NGDI, the concept and practice of GIS will remain a very tedious exercise in collection of data.

Acceptability towards change
It is axiomatic that any change which is evolved should be acceptable to the constituents of the system. The experience says that ‘acceptability’ is to be brought about even if the correctness is ‘massaged’ a bit. A good strategy is to break the total change to small changes, which helps in enhancing acceptability.

Speed of Change
It is seen that any society which is greatly influenced by the traditions and very old culture will resist any change which is imposed in haste. The pace of change should, therefore, be deliberately made slow so as to generate acceptability by a large number of affected persons and organisations.

Availability of the Internet Technology
Internet technology has brought a sea-change in the flow and dissemination of information. It will be a great step in providing information about the stored-data to the user in the form of website. It is suggested that almost all the organisations involved in exchange of spatial data should have their own web-sites. The contents of the web-sites should optimally be designed to disseminate relevant information to the users.

As a matter of convenience to the users and launching of NGDI, the web-sites should play a significant role in enhancing the concept of meta-data. The user after knowing the ‘where’ of the data can enter into dialogue with the organization for the contents, copyright and the cost (3 ‘C’ s of the data). The nodal agencies e.g. Department of Science and Technology and Department of Space should help the intending organisations with financial and technical support to implement the data On the formation of the Internet based web-sites, the NGDI office in Department of Science and Technology can compile the meta-data based on the periodical communications from the partners of NGDI. The combined information can be disseminate through material/publication(s)/electronic newsletter.