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Plenary explores corporate dimension to SDI

Singapore: The corporate sector shared its views on the SDI ecosystem in the plenary “Spatially Enabling Society: Corporate Sector Perspectives,” held on the third day of GSDI 12 World Conference being held here.  

Elaborating on the role of Abu Dhabi Spatial Data Infrastructure (AD-SDI), Abdul Karim Al Raeisi, Executive Manager, Abu Dhabi Systems and Information Centre (ADSIC) informed that the goal of the AD-SDI is to empower government, businesses and citizens for sustainable development. A new term, the Abu Dhabi Geo-maturity framework has been defined. Sustainable development is to be achieved from limited usage a few years ago to geo-mature usage. Geo-mature users are those who understand and use geospatial technologies routinely, Karim added, with the stakeholders being the government and non-government agencies and personnel. Different sectors have been identified to leverage geospatial information technology and systems (GITS), with individuals being treated as GITS entrepreneurs. According to Karim, new stakeholders are being identified from areas which have traditionally not used geospatial information like health and social welfare. Geomaturity dimensions envisage a mature AD-SDI, GITS as a hub, GITS as an enabler and capacity building. Karim informed that while AD-SDI was founded in 2007, AD-GITS will be established by 2010-12 and capacity building will continue. GITS enabled path is faster than the traditional path which envisages incremental growth over time. The aim is to go from internal departmental use to shared multi-departmental use including non-spatial departments, according to him. Various social, economic, strategic and environmental benefits are expected to accrue. By 2030, Abu Dhabi is expected to be a spatially enabled innovative e-government.

Cloud computing
Kingsley Wood, Business Development and Sales, Amazon Asia-Pacific Resources illustrated the concept of cloud computing with examples of different implementations. He discussed the popular myths about cloud computing in terms of cost, loss of data, security and explained their fallacies. He demonstrated that the cloud is the next big disruptive technology for geospatial data and applications, with some of the big players already migrating their data services to the cloud.

Panel discussion
The session also featured a panel discussion, with Chris Holmes of OpenGeo initiating the debate on open stack open source and standardisation of APIs. Kingsley suggested putting number of vendors in a stack and distributing risks. Prof André K. Economou, Solutions Architect, HP Large Format Printing, IPG, Asia Pacific & Japan, observed that technology is growing faster than peoples’ absorption. Kingsley considered this situation to be an advantage as one need not invest in the technology, while Karim suggested maximising use of existing technology. Daniel Martinez Harris, Category Manager, Designjet, Imaging and Printing Group, Asia Pacific /Japan, Hewlett-Packard Asia Pacific suggested choosing priority areas while Karim highlighted the need to first get the buy-in and show different ways of getting the information. The discussion then turned to whether HP is using cloud. Daniel touched upon the issues of connectivity, willingness to share and the discomfort in putting data in an unknown place. Karim inquired if ESRI will provide a service to get the benefit of GIS without an expert. Mark Cygan of Esri talked about solutions for specific users like INSPIRE.

Source: Our correspondent