Colleagues from FIG (the international federation of surveyors) have boiled down the requirements for a spatially enabled society (that’s one where location is added to existing data to increase its value to society) to 6 handy and simple to achieve elements. The added value can be considered to stem from the ease of integration of information held on land, water and other resources. Such integration makes it simpler to manage a cities, countries or regions resources more effectively.
And here they are;-
1. a legal framework to provide the institutional structure for data sharing, discovery, and access;
2. a sound data integration concept to ensure multi-sourced data integration and interoperability;
3. a positioning infrastructure to enable and benefit from precise positioning possibilities;
4. a spatial data infrastructure to facilitate data sharing, to reduce duplication and to link data producers, providers and value adders to data users based on a common goal of data sharing;
5.land ownership information, as the dominant issue in the interactions between government, businesses and citizens relating to land and water resources;
6.data and information to respect certain basic principles and to increase the availability and interoperability of free to re-use spatial data from different actors and sectors.
Well, it’s hard to disagree with all of these, but once you read the full report you realise that the spatial data infrastructure is not just one item, but is the tool to achieve at least elements 2,3,5 and 6. For an indepth experience on setting up such an infrastructure see our work on ESDIN.