National GIS or SDI?

by Matt Ball on July 12, 2011

In the executive session on Spatial Data Infrastructure at the Esri International User Conference there rose a discussion of what SDI means in reaction to Jack Dangermond’s comment that he’d love to move beyond discussion of SDI and rather call it National GIS.

A spatial data infrastructure is a bit different than a National GIS in the panelists’ minds, and many stated that data building, standardization, data delivery, rules and procedures, and established authority is the start, which is SDI, rather than the solutions that reside within a GIS.

  • Nancy Tosta of the United States feels that SDI is much bigger than a GIS.
  • Singapore discussed the role of SDI to encompass broader geospatial awareness than traditionally is encompassed in GIS
  • Abu Dhabi discussed that the creation of a mindset as well as the physical environment for the sharing of data are encompassed in the concept of SDI — as a spatial data institution for collaboration rather than solutions.
  • India is pursuing a National GIS, and in their eyes it’s about the delivery of targeted services for specific vertical markets that is hosted on the cloud.


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Suvrat July 13, 2011 at 7:37 am

India has opted for what looks like an ‘and” approach.. SDI plus a National GIS.

Ron Lake April 4, 2013 at 11:44 am

Just some observations;

1. SDI is more than GIS as it is about more than spatial data. It is about application level connectivity and sharing. True this is often driven by the connectivity of the world – but that should not be confused with GIS.

2. SDI should focus on frameworks for wide area application development that can incorporate spatial data (sensor data, drawings, imagery, GIS features etc).

3. SDI should have an urban focus as it is in urban settings that most social, economic etc issues are met, and where collaboration has the greatest benefits.

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