Singapore: Spatial enablement is not just about developing and using geospatial and GIS technologies. It is a concept that permeates the whole of government and society and draws heavily on the land administration system and the spatial data infrastructure (SDI) available in the jurisdiction. It will continue to be a major theme in the development of SDIs over the next decade, according to Prof Abbas Rajabifard, President of the Global Spatial Data Infrastructure (GSDI) Association.
In conversation with FutureGov Prof Rajabifard explained, “Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) is a long term process which also requires a long term support in order to deliver a fully functioning system. At the same time, SDI has been understood differently by different users or jurisdictions. I think one of the major trends in NSDI development has been the increasingly important role played by different level of jurisdictions and sub-national governments and the private sector within the framework of SDI development.”
“There has been a movement away from only national small-scale data to more people relevant large-scale information, generally derived at a sub-national level. The development and availability of this large scale data together with the creation of an enabling platform or ‘Virtual Jurisdiction’ is creating new opportunities for greater private sector involvement in SDI development.”
“This requirement to build an enabling platform to create access to fundamental large-scale datasets across linked jurisdictions is now being seen through the concept of spatial enablement, a concept that is broadening the progression of SDI development. So, in comparison with 5-10 years ago, we can now see more successful stories and better understanding and use of SDI platforms,” Prof Rajabifard stated.
According to Prof Rajabifard, the development and implementation of comprehensive standards is a key facet to the development of SDIs at any level around the world and has tended to be seen as one of the major and somehow hardest parts to develop. One of the difficulties on developing and adhering standards at a National level, particularly in countries that have multiple levels of Government (such as Australia or the USA for example that are Federation of States) is the lack of cooperation between agencies and different sectors, rather than the standards themselves.
However, the work and guidelines developed and contributed by ISO/TC 211 and the Open Geospatial Consortium and other international standard commissions such as ICA-standards commission have been facilitating the use and implementation of these standards.