Spatial data infrastructure
A spatial data infrastructure (SDI) is a data infrastructure implementing a framework of geographic data, metadata, users and tools that are interactively connected in order to use spatial data in an efficient and flexible way. Another definition is "the technology, policies, standards, human resources, and related activities necessary to acquire, process, distribute, use, maintain, and preserve spatial data".
A further definition is given in Kuhn (2005): "An SDI is a coordinated series of agreements on technology standards, institutional arrangements, and policies that enable the discovery and use of geospatial information by users and for purposes other than those it was created for."
Some of the main principles are that data and metadata should not be managed centrally, but by the data originator and/or owner, and that tools and services connect via computer networks to the various sources. A GIS is often the platform for deploying an individual node within an SDI. To achieve these objectives, good coordination between all the actors is necessary and the definition of standards is very important.
Due to its nature (size, cost, number of interactors) an SDI is usually government-related. An example of an existing SDI is the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) in the United States. At the European side, INSPIRE is a European Commission initiative to build a European SDI beyond national boundaries and ultimately the United Nations Spatial Data Infrastructure (UNSDI) will do the same for over 30 UN Funds, Programmes, Specialized Agencies and member countries.
A SDI should enable the discovery and delivery of spatial data from a data repository, via a spatial service provider, to a user. As mentioned earlier it is often wished that the data provider is able to update spatial data stored in a repository. Hence, the basic software components of an SDI are:
- Software client - to display, query, and analyse spatial data (this could be a browser or a desktop GIS)
- Catalogue service - for the discovery, browsing, and querying of metadata or spatial services, spatial datasets and other resources
- Spatial data service - allowing the delivery of the data via the Internet
- Processing services - such as datum and projection transformations
- (Spatial) data repository - to store data, e.g., a spatial database
- GIS software (client or desktop) - to create and update spatial data
Besides these software components, a range of (international) technical standards are necessary that allow interaction between the different software components. Among those are geospatial standards defined by the Open Geospatial Consortium (e.g., OGC WMS, WFS, GML etc.) and ISO (e.g., ISO 19115) for the delivery of maps, vector and raster data, but also data format and internet transfer standards by W3C consortium.
- The European INSPIRE initiative
- Spatial Data Infrastructures Unit at the EU Joint Research Centre
- Spatial Data Infrastructure and Portal of the Basque Country. geoEuskadi
- Swiss Federal Spatial Data Infrastructure and Portal geo.admin.ch
- Blog Chilean Spatial Data Infrastructure
- GSDI 11 World Conference: The Geo-Spatial event of 2009, Rotterdam The Netherlands
- International Cartographic Association (ICA), the world body for mapping and GIScience professionals
- Global Spatial Data Infrastructure (GSDI) Association
- Links to SDI initiatives from the GSDI Association website
- The United Nations Spatial Data Infrastructure (UNSDI)
- The Netherlands Coordination Office of UNSDI (UNSDI-NCO)
- The GeoNetwork portal of UNSDI-NCO (with over 17.800 metadata sets)
- US National Spatial Data Infrastructure
- Australian Spatial Data Infrastructure
- The Centre for Spatial Data Infrastructures & Land Administration
- Canadian Geospatial Data Infrastructure
- Chilean Spatial Data Infrastructure
- Swedish Spatial Data Infrastructure, Geodata.se - Sverige bit för bit, Geodata.se - Sweden Bit by Bit
- Finnish National Spatial Data Infrastructure
- German National Spatial Data Infrastructure
- Dutch Geo register
- Laboratory of Geo-Information Science and Remote Sensing
- Lithuanian geographic information infrastructure
- Spanish National Spatial Data Infrastructure (IDEE)
- Catalonia Spatial Data Infrastructure
- Gipuzkoa Spatial Data Infrastructure
- Andalusian Spatial Data Infrastructure
- SNIG - Portuguese National System for Geographic Information
- Canary Islands Spatial Data Infrastructure (IDECanarias)
- Andorran Spatial Data Infrastructure (IDEAnd)
- Brazilian Spatial Data Infrastructure (INDE)
- Malaysia Geospatial Data Infrastructure (MyGDI)
- Bolivia Spatial Data Infraestructure (IDE-EPB)
- Abu Dhabi SDI
- The SDI Cookbook from the Global Spatial Data Infrastructur Organisation (GSDI)
- Research and Theory in Advancing Spatial Data Infrastructure Concepts
- GIS Worlds: Creating Spatial Data Infrastructures
- Building European Spatial Data Infrastructures
- geOrchestra is a free, modular and interoperable Spatial Data Infrastructure software,
- GeoNode is a web-based application and platform for developing geospatial information systems (GIS) and for deploying spatial data infrastructures (SDI),
- OpenSDI includes Open Source components like GeoServer & GeoNetwork,
- easySDI is a complete web-based platform for deploying any geoportal.
- Geoportal Server is an open source solution for building SDI models where a central SDI node is populated with content from distributed nodes, as well as SDI models where each node participates equally in a federated mode.
- The White House, Office of Management and Budget (2002) Circular No. A-16 Revised, August 19, 2002
- Kuhn, W. (2005) presentation "Introduction to Spatial Data Infrastructures". Presentation held on March 14, 2005.
- Steiniger, S., and Hunter, A.J.S. (2012) preprint "Free and open source GIS software for building a spatial data infrastructure". In E. Bocher and M. Neteler (eds): Geospatial Free and Open Source Software in the 21st Century: Proceedings of the first Open-Source Geospatial Research Symposium, 2009, LNG&C, Springer, Heidelberg, pp. 247-261.
- Global Spatial Data Infrastructur Organisation - The SDI Cookbok. link to cook book wiki