World Bank SDI Report - Worldwide SDI Development and Outreach

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This article is a part of World Bank SDI Report.


Worldwide SDI development and outreach


The early development of geospatial information systems, digital cartography and remote sensing was largely undertaken by discrete communities of geographers, cartographers and remote sensors. Each discipline had its preferred methods for capturing, structuring and managing its data. The particular approach adopted was partly dictated by the means of data capture, partly by the level of computing technology available at the time for analysis and management and partly due to the historical evolution of the discipline. The result was that the detail and accuracy of data captured, classification models, metadata and data formats, all varied widely between organisations. For example,, the predominantly vector form of capture and storage adopted by cartographers and geographers and the raster scanning and processing of remote sensing and image analysis led to a divergence of systems development for geographic data processing that severely inhibited the integration and common processing of the respective spatial data sets. For a number of years there was vigorous debate over the respective merits of the raster and vector approaches to representing and processing geographic data[1]. And, whilst this particular debate raged, many other discrete geospatially relevant technologies were developing, in areas such as imaging, communications, search and analysis. The result was that users would spend hours struggling with data to make it compatible for use with the multiple specialist tools for modelling and application.

Only in the last few years have we started to emerge from that world into a future of broad-spectrum interoperability. Standards first started to address data interoperability and then services so that service components could be chained using business process management software. In this loosely coupled distributed approach to systems development, clients can discover increasingly fine-grained software components across multiple servers and invoke operations as seamlessly as if one was working on a standalone system. This was the original vision of the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC)[2], a vision that has been increasingly realized through the work of OGC members building open interfaces and encodings in a well-documented and highly disciplined consensus process.

This vision fed the concept of "National Spatial Data Infrastructures" (NSDI). Originally constrained to focus on issues of data, metadata, clearinghouses and data coordination, Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) policy makers began tracking the emerging concepts of interoperable information processing and embraced the vision of pervasive Web-based environments for the collaborative development and use of geospatial information and services (Jackson et al., 2010[3]).

This chapter provides an overview of current SDI projects from around the world considering SDI developments by global region. This is done through selected studies carefully chosen to reflect the current SDI status quo within each global region. Therefore, as well as some of the more exemplary cases, in some regions, notably Africa, projects that have faced development and implementation challenges have also been presented. As a means of demonstrating the scope and potential of SDI development and application this chapter also provides a selection of best practice examples, or 'SDI champions', from Korea and Brazil. The chapter concludes with a summary of general principles that can be drawn from the experience of the case studies selected.

Global Overview

Historical Perspective on Global SDI Development

The concept of a spatial data infrastructure grows out of the automation of cartography and the development of geographical information systems or GIS. GIS, although offering user organisations significant advances in analytical and information processing capabilities, were typically of a bespoke nature in the early days. Where all of the data of relevance was contained within a single group within an organisation and where the processing and utilisation of analyses was contained within the same group then much could be achieved. However, where the need to exchange data, services and results between disparate groups arose, the problem of data and service-level harmonisation quickly escalated.

The concept of an SDI aims to address this overhead by defining up-front an architecture and adopting standards that allow for harmonisation and ready integration of data and services from different groups within and between organisations.

The term "SDI" is already over 20 years old with the first recorded use by McLaughlin in 1991[4] but the concepts of SDI pre-date this. US Circular No. A-l6 (Revised) dated October 19, 1990 entitled, "Coordination of Surveying, Mapping, and Related Spatial Data Activities"[5] has as a stated major objective the eventual "development of a national digital spatial information resource, with the involvement of Federal, State, and local governments, and the private sector". The Circular states that "this national information resource, linked by criteria and standards, will enable sharing and efficient transfer of spatial data between producers and users. Enhanced coordination will build information partnerships among government institutions and the public and private sectors, avoiding wasteful duplication of effort and ensuring effective and economical management of information resources in meeting essential user requirements".

This Circular was also the basis of the later formation of the US Federal Geographic Data Committee. The Circular states, "An interagency coordinating committee will be established ... The committee will be called the Federal Geographic Data Committee and will be chaired by the Department of the Interior.

The objective of this interagency coordinating committee is to promote the coordinated development, use, sharing, and dissemination of surveying, mapping, and related spatial data. This objective supports surveying and mapping activities, aids geographic information system use, and assists land managers, technical support organizations, and other users in meeting their program objectives through:

  • Promoting the development, maintenance, and management of distributed data base systems that are national in scope for surveying, mapping, and related spatial data;
  • Encouraging the development and implementation of standards, exchange formats, specifications, procedures, and guidelines;
  • Promoting technology development, transfer, and exchange;
  • Promoting interaction with other existing Federal coordinating mechanisms that have interest in the generation, collection, use, and transfer of spatial data;
  • Publishing periodic technical and management articles and reports;
  • Performing special studies and providing special reports and briefings to OMB on major initiatives to facilitate understanding of the relationship of spatial data technologies with agency programs; and
  • Ensuring that activities related to Circular A- l6 support national security, national defence, and emergency preparedness programs.

Over the next ten years the concept became further developed. Executive Order 12906 (April 1994) established the US National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) and OMB Circular A-16 (Revised August 2002) established the Federal Geographic Data Committee as the interagency coordinating body for NSDI-related activities. This and affirmed and described the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) as the technology, policies, standards, human resources, and related activities necessary to acquire, process, distribute, use, maintain, and preserve spatial data.

At the European level, and elsewhere, similar initiatives for National and even multinational SDI were developing. Within Europe, 2002 saw the first steps towards an SDI for European Commission countries with the emergence of a new Commission initiative called INSPIRE to "contribute to sound knowledge for good governance through a European Spatial Information Infrastructure"[6].

Broad Overview of Current Situation

As the first decade of the Millennium has progressed more and more countries from all parts of the world have started to implement SDI's, sometimes to address specific policy areas such as Environment and in other cases more ambitiously as an integral part of their national information, communications and technology (ICT) strategy. In some cases these initiatives are focussed on ensuring that as new programmes of spatial data capture are implemented then the data sets are harmonised so as to facilitate cross agency data sharing. Others have started to tackle the historic legacy of improving the discovery, access and interoperability of data sets that were generated with only minimal consideration of data exchange and sharing.

The recognition that data discovery and conflation is also important trans-nationally and even globally has also led to initiatives for multi-national regional and global SDI's. The European INSPIRE directive is one such initiative underpinned by legislation and the Global Earth Observation System of Systems another which focuses on simultaneously addressing nine areas of critical importance to people and society. GEOSS aims to empower the international community to protect itself against natural and human-induced disasters, understand the environmental sources of health hazards, manage energy resources, respond to climate change and its impacts, safeguard water resources, improve weather forecasts, manage ecosystems, promote sustainable agriculture and conserve biodiversity[7].

National and Regional Initiatives

The following section summarises SDI activities in several leading countries and regions around the world. Each has a different SDI experience. Lessons from each SDI example are drawn that may be applicable to SDI development in developing countries. The detailed description of the SDI implementation for each country can be found in Annexes A – D.  

European Initiatives


The European SDI is formally called Infrastructure for Spatial Information in Europe (INSPIRE). INSPIRE was officially initiated by the INSPIRE Directive, which is a legal Act (Directive 2007/2/EC) of the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament. The Act calls for setting up an Infrastructure for Spatial Information in Europe based on existing infrastructures established and operated by the 27 Member States of the European Union (EU). The EU is a union of 27 sovereign Member States with a population of over 500 million citizens (2009) that have agreed through a series of international treaties to the policy areas in which they wish to share responsibilities and resources (e.g. agricultural, environmental, and regional policies).

The purpose of INSPIRE is to support environmental policy and overcome major barriers affecting the availability and accessibility of relevant data. These barriers include:

  • Inconsistencies in spatial data collection, where spatial data is often missing or incomplete or, alternatively, the same data is collected twice by different organizations;
  • Lack or incomplete documentation of available spatial data;
  • Lack of compatibility among spatial datasets meaning that they cannot be combined or used with other spatial datasets;
  • Incompatible SDI initiatives within Member States that often function in isolation;
  • Cultural, institutional, financial, and legal barriers preventing or delaying the sharing of existing spatial data.
  • The key elements of the INSPIRE Directive to overcome these barriers include:
  • Metadata to describe existing information resources so spatial data can be more easily found and accessed;
  • Harmonization of the key spatial data themes that are needed to support environmental policies in the EU;
  • Agreements on network services and technologies that allow discovery, viewing, transforming, and downloading of data and access to related services;
  • Policy agreements on data sharing and access, including licensing and charging;
  • Coordination and monitoring mechanisms.

INSPIRE is supported by the €53.2B Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) which is the European Union's main instrument for funding research in Europe for the period 2007-2013. FP7 provides the EU with a method of reaching the goals of growth, competitiveness and employment, along with providing structure and funds for regional convergence and competitiveness.

Lessons for SDI development in developing countries:

The role of member governments has driven the development of INSPIRE forward through the requirement of all member states to:

  • pass legislation and rules to match the EU Inspire SDI directive;
  • build institutional and human capacity to undertake SDI;
  • build 'metadata' information systems;
  • support education and training of staff and citizens in SDI skills and awareness
  • INSPIRE is developing and using many of the international technical standards that could benefit SDI in developing countries;
  • INSPIRE has made available verification and test services that could be taken advantage of by SDI in developing countries;

The steps involved in building a SDI are presented in the INSPIRE directive and write up which serves as a check list for SDI development[9].

INSPIRE has stimulated a large amount of academic research, pilot studies, test-beds and on-line training materials that would have relevance for other national and regional SDI's.


INSPIRE is a large, complex and inevitably costly initiative co-ordinating 34 data themes for 27 sovereign countries with a population of 501m (1/1/2010) involving multiple languages and legal systems. Whilst the research, training materials, standards and pilot studies will have relevance, the political, legal and administrative aspects are likely to be very different for single nation SDI's.


The Republic of Croatia is a parliamentary democracy with a bi-cameral house of parliament. It has a population of 4.5 million (2010) and a land area of 56,538 km². It has a GDP per capita of US$14,200.

The Republic of Croatia, which aims for European Union membership by 2012, started to prepare for NSDI in 2005 with a study by a group of international experts guided by the State Geodetic Authority (SGA). In association with the revision of the State Survey and Real Estate Cadastre Law, they added SDI provisions into the Law which was passed by Parliament in 2007 (see Annex 3 below for the SDI legal provisions). The Law for the most part matches the EU Inspire directive principles and calls for NSDI stakeholders' spatial data to be linked to a common IT network in order to enable the search of the spatial data sets, and for it to be available in an easy and accessible way.

During 2008 and 2009, the NSDI establishment took place with the start-up of the NSDI Council for the coordination of the NSDI stakeholders' activities. A Working Committee was formed to serve as an independent NSDI implementation body and NSDI working groups established for: technical standards; joint usage of spatial data; linking the NSDI and Croatian Government programs. They also developed a NSDI business plan and undertook capacity building for stakeholder agencies.

As directed by law, the Government of the Republic of Croatia appointed the NSDI Council in 2008 with one representative each from the following bodies:

  • the ministry responsible for environment protection and spatial planning (as president);
  • the state administration body responsible for e-government;
  • the ministry responsible for defence;
  • the ministry responsible for land registry;
  • the ministry responsible for transport and communications;
  • the ministry responsible for agriculture, forestry and water management;
  • the ministry responsible for science and education;
  • the ministry responsible for the protection of cultural and natural heritage;
  • the ministry responsible for economy;
  • the state administration body responsible for State Survey and Real Property Cadastre Law;
  • the state administration body responsible for statistics;
  • the Croatian Hydrographic Institute;
  • the Croatian Geodetic Institute;
  • geodetic and geoinformatics economic community;
  • IT economic community; and
  • Croatian Chamber of Architects and Civil Engineers.

The president and members of the NSDI Council were appointed for a period of four years. In accordance with the Law, the State Geodetic Agency (SGA) serves as the Secretariat of the NSDI Council, coordinates all NSDI bodies and provides technical support. One of the SGA tasks is to create products and services for the NSDI by maintaining a public metadata service on the Internet and a Geo-Portal, so as to allow stakeholders to keep the information up to date. A preliminary geoportal was launched in February 2010 (see[10].

Lessons for SDI development in developing countries:

  • Croatia invested heavily in the building of core data sets and in the whole system overall including orthophoto mapping nationwide, and a nationwide GPS network, all available on the Internet;
  • Effective use was made of the law to guide stakeholders and initiate the NSDI;
  • the NSDI Council has a wide coverage of stakeholders (16 in all) and others contributing to working committees and special interest groups; and
  • the importance of leadership was apparent during implementation; and
  • effective use was made of advisers.
The Netherlands[11]

The Netherlands (2010 population 16.7m, land area 33,890km²) consists of mostly coastal lowland and reclaimed land with some hills in the southeast. It is estimated that 8% is urban land, 58% is agricultural land, 7% is forest, 3% is natural reserve.

The GDP was USD796 billion (2009) roughly divided into agriculture 3%, industry 26% and services 71%.

Politically, the Netherlands is a constitutional monarchy, with a cabinet, the States General (parliament) and the judicial system. Other levels of government are: the 458 municipalities, 12 provinces and the water boards (which are also elected).

By 2000 the Netherlands had developed a well-functioning NSDI. It was designed by the National Foundation for Geographical Information after approval as a vision by the Dutch Council of Ministers in 1992. The main goal of the original vision was to increase the compatibility and exchange between the main core data sets. This core data concept was for information concerning parcels of land, people, companies and buildings (the fundamental data set for buildings had been partially developed in a tax-law for the assessment of real estate and was to be further developed). The electronic exchange of public information between the cadastre register, the population register and the register of enterprises is based on the recommendations laid down in an earlier structure plan. These data sets were identified as the fundamental data with which to build the NSDI. It had to be coupled with the Dutch Government's e-government initiatives.

Post 2000 there was pressure for improvements in the SDI. In 2003, the Government introduced the Space for Geo Information initiative. This planned to up-grade the NSDI by 2009 to reflect the EU PSI Directive (of 2003) relating to re-use of Public Sector information and new priorities (e.g. from the repercussions of the events of September 11 2001 in the USA).

In reaction to the launch of the INSPIRE directive, the Government of the Netherlands introduced the GIDEON concept in 2008 for the continuing development of SDI in the Netherlands. GIDEON was developed by 23 ministries and agencies working together.

GIDEON had 6 implementation strategies to lead to the creation of a key geo-facility for The Netherlands. The six strategies were to:

  • Give geo-information a prominent place within e-services; encourage the use of the existing four key geo-registers, and to set up two new ones;
  • Embed the INSPIRE Directive into Dutch legislation and to implement the technical infrastructure;
  • Optimize supply by forming a government-wide geo-information facility, which is to include: geo-data standardization, new infrastructure, and collaborative maintenance;
  • Encourage the use of geo-information in numerous government policy and implementation chains, such as safety, sustainable living environment, mobility, and area development;
  • Create a favorable climate for adding economic value to available public authority geo-information; and
  • Encourage collaboration in knowledge, innovation and education, for the permanent development and renewal of the key geo-information facility for The Netherlands[12].

A challenge in SDI is the formation and continuing up-dating of large scale mapping as demanded by the diverse GIS stakeholders. The Netherlands started a cooperative effort in this regard back in 1975. The 'Large Scale Standard Map of The Netherlands' (GBKN) is the most detailed topographic map throughout the Netherlands. The scales of the GBKN are 1:500 in city areas and 1:1000 in suburban areas and 1:2000 in rural areas. The GBKN is a 'live' map - it contains most essential topographic standard information of The Netherlands with up-dating undertaken on a regular basis. The GBKN has a large group of users and is consulted on average 1800 times per weekday[13].

The operation of the GBKN is undertaken by a national joint venture agency between data producers and data providers that operates at the local, provincial and national levels. It has been operating for more than 10 years (Masser, 2010[14]). It is a cost sharing public-private partnership involving key beneficiaries both for the initial acquisition and the on-going regular up-dating. Completed in 2001 it serves as a framework layer in the Dutch national SDI as well as for the base map for the Dutch national cadastre.

The national board of the GBKN includes: 10 regional organizations, user groups, national stakeholders including the Dutch Cadastre, the Association of Water Boards, the national telecom company (KPN), and the Association of Dutch Municipalities. A small support centre is based in the offices of the Dutch Cadastre. By 2014 the GBKN is set to become a legally mandated public sector body as part of the Dutch government's e-Government programme. The GBKN is to become one of the 6 key spatial data sets.

Overall the GBKN demonstrates (i) a cost sharing way of bringing together vastly different organizations for a common purpose, (ii) the commitment of those organizations to a common set of standards (incorporated into the maps); (iii) a top level management structure to run the system; and (iv) each agency achieves access to a detailed and maintained large scale map at a small percentage of the national total cost.

Lessons for SDI development in developing countries:

'Top-down' and 'bottom-up' approaches can be brought upon SDI development concurrently for an enhanced system: The 'producers' of information started the SDI, but it was taken over by 'users' of information in the early 2000s. The Dutch Government stepped in in 2003 and again in 2008 on the grounds of a greater demand by Government for better geo-information for government use. The latest SDI design (Gideon) has been influenced and reviewed by 23 ministries and agencies working together which all brought support of the Gideon concept.

Governmental and other public sector demands and requirements can drive SDI development forward: These include e-government, data re-use and access to public sector information, data access and security demands and disaster management.



The responsibility for the implementation of INSPIRE in Sweden [population, 9.3m (2010) 80% living in urban areas, area 450,000km2] is shared between the Swedish Government, the coordinator (Lantmäteriet) and the public sector authorities[16]. Sweden is a constitutional monarchy with a unicameral parliament, divided into 290 municipalities and 21 county councils, the latter primarily responsible for healthcare.

In mid-2006 the Swedish Government ordered the start-up of a Geodata Strategy (GDS) to be guided into existence by a GeoData Board of 11 entities (mostly government) including the land agency Lantmäteriet. The reasons for the new Geodata strategy requirement were:

  • forthcoming EU Inspire directive (issued in 2007 but in draft versions from 2002)
  • the EU directive concerning reuse of public service information (PSI) (from 2003);
  • The EU directive concerning the assessment and management of flood risks;
  • The GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security Initiative) plus the EU Galileo satellite navigation project;
  • The Land Protection directive;
  • Swedish Government's e-Governance decree which aims to increase the efficiency of public sector administration and accessibility;

The need to strengthen the voluntary Swedish SDI. Several public sector "geodata stakeholders" had not adopted the new 2000 projection systems and maps by 2006 as well as the 21 regional and 290 municipal governments which were still using old maps and the old projection system. Additionally there was a consensus that there was a need for legal changes to achieve SDI and geodata changes.

The Swedish Government e-governance plan relative to the forthcoming EC Inspire plans and the existing SDI of Sweden.

To achieve the above list of requirements meant a need for 'geodata' from all levels of government and for it to involve all geodata participants not just a few as in t the decade 1996-2006. The Government stated that the Geodata Strategy was to be a dynamic strategy and one that was to be up-dated annually. Progress, is reported in:

The aims of Swedish Geodata Strategy 2009 are to stimulate increased co-operation in the geodata sector by providing more information about geodata and guidelines for producers and users. The strategy is intended to provide guidance for all involved parties in Sweden. It is the general plan on which the infrastructure will be based and for Sweden's participation in European and international co-operation in the geodata sector.

Work for the realisation of the objectives of the strategy is based on the following common key principles:

  • The strategy should generate benefits for society by providing favourable preconditions for the further processing of geodata and support the development of the Swedish business sector and contribute to strengthening international competitiveness.
  • The provision of geodata should contribute to the development of Swedish e- governance and be a model for the development in other information sectors. The provision of geodata should also utilise existing solutions concerning Swedish e-governance.
  • The strategy should create flexibility by providing favourable prerequisites for rapid and easy adaptation to the new preconditions, new demands and technical development.
  • The strategy should be based on a user perspective which should stimulate the use of geodata on local, regional, national and global levels.
  • Co-operation between different parties should be so well developed and carried out in such an efficient way that costs for the use of geodata can be decreased. Networks for co-operation between central and local and the private sector are an important basis for the infrastructure. The co-operation can be based on voluntary agreements and satisfy the needs for local, regional and national applications. The networks should stimulate the development of services that meet the requirements of individual members of the general public as well those of the private and public sectors.'
  • The strategy is part of the implementation of the INSPIRE-directive in Sweden.
  • 'Important keys to success are a common approach and sound forms of co-operation between all involved parties. Reliance, collaboration and co-operation must be developed across administrative boundaries and between all involved parties. The vision for the Swedish Geodata Strategy in a 10 year perspective is that organisations that manage and use geodata in their daily activities should: Use geodata to generate increased benefits for society, based on co-operation across organizational boundaries, and at the lowest possible cost. Co-ordinate information resources in a network and make them available via uniformly structured services and descriptions of the information. Provide services to public sector administration, companies and the general public and satisfy demands at local, regional, national, European and global levels.' (GDS 2009[17]).

The GDS action plan for 2009 called for the following eight areas of activity to be addressed and strategic targets, directions and prioritized activities were given. They are: Co-operation in networks as the basis for the infrastructure; the Information structure; Technical infrastructure; National metadata catalogue; Geodetic reference systems; Research, development and education; Legal framework; and Financing and price models.

Lessons for SDI development in developing countries:

  • Between 2000 and 2005, Sweden had the realization that it must take major actions to address the SDI challenges coming out of the EU, the Swedish Government (with e-Governance) as well to address its own SDI shortcomings.
  • Also that it had to bring the 290 municipalities and 21 regional governments along with the Central Government in terms of SDI and GDS. It appears that the municipalities were lagging behind in terms of maps, privacy laws and the freedom of information (or lack of it).
  • With the Geodata Strategy 2006-2009 and of Inspire (in 2007) and PRI directives from the EU in the 2000s, the Government of Sweden had to take action to bring SDI change to the municipalities as well as to many central government ministries and authorities; they had not been impacted by the 1st generation of the SDI changes in the 1990s.
  • It should be noted that Government at all levels in Sweden operate by consensus and change therefore takes time.

Australasia Pacific Initiatives Header


Singapore is an island city state and the smallest country in South East Asia [Population 5m (2010), land area 704km2]. It is a republic, a unicameral parliamentary democracy and the world's 4th most prosperous countries. Due to its small size, land is a precious commodity in Singapore. Thus the government created the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) in 2001 with a main focus on land resource optimization. SLA reports to the Ministry of Law (MoL) and works closely with the Ministry of Information, Communication and Art (MoICA). NSDI tasks are run from the central government.

One of the core functions of the SLA is to promote the sharing and use of geospatial data among government agencies. The SLA, the national mapping agency and lead agency in GIS are responsible for driving the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) which is named the Singapore Geospatial Collaborative Environment (SG-SPACE). One of the key tasks of SG-SPACE involves a whole of government approach to link up and harmonize the various types of geospatial data managed by public agencies. SG-SPACE is co-led by MoL and MoICA.

The SG-SPACE framework is an integration of several components which serve as the building blocks for realizing the vision of SG-SPACE. Figure 3.1 demonstrates the components of the SG-SPACE framework

Figure 3.1: SG-SPACE Components

A key product of SG-SPACE is Onemap which is a common map platform for public agencies to publish information and deliver map-based e-services to the public via the Internet. OneMap serves as:

  • A multi government agency portal for business and the general public to access non-sensitive geospatial information from the government;
  • a one-stop location for data discoverability and accessibility of government geospatial information;
  • an enabler and channel for public agencies to create, organize and publish their geospatial information and deliver map-based services to the general public; and
  • a complete end-to-end geospatial information value-chain that bridges government agencies, private sector and the general public for geospatial services.

OneMap comprises the base maps (street-level and land lot (legal boundary of land parcels) maps) and more than 26 layers of thematic data contributed by participating agencies. The data is classified into the categories of culture, environment, family and community, health, recreation and sports etc. In addition, the intelligent search function on OneMap allows users to search for maps using address, building names, road names or postal code. A routing function is also enabled. More base maps, thematic data and map services are planned for the future and will be made available as more agencies come on board to share their information[18].

Lessons for SDI development in developing countries:

  • Singapore has a very small area but they have found that an SDI is very useful and beneficial to its government and people. The example of Singapore shows how to organize SDI and the institutional arrangements necessary for SDI in such an environment. The SDI is conducted by two top ministries who set up SG-Space and both ministries are well funded through transactions
  • The technical architecture and implementation are relatively simple, very modern and cost effective[19].
Australia and New Zealand[20]

Australia and New Zealand have a joint SDI Council of 10 members titled the Australian and New Zealand Land Information Council (ANZLIC) which spans the Australian federal government, 6 state governments, 3 territories, and the Government of New Zealand. The Council operates at the policy and think tank level rather than at the implementation and supervisory levels, as each of the 6 states and New Zealand have jurisdiction over their own land administration and natural resources. The use of standards across the spatial information industry is strongly advocated.

The Australian Spatial Data Infrastructure (ASDI), implemented in 2003 by ANZLIC, is a national framework linking users with providers of spatial information. It comprises the people, policies and technologies necessary to enable the generation and use of spatially referenced data through all levels of government, the private and non-profit sectors, academia and the community. The role of ANZLIC is to facilitate easy and cost effective access to the great amounts of spatial data and services provided by a wide range of organisations in the public and private sectors in Australia and New Zealand.

Over the last decade ANZLIC has developed a set of inter-related policies and guidelines aiming to assist organisations achieve 'best practice' in spatial data management, including:

  • Guidelines for data custodianship;
  • A policy statement on spatial data management;
  • ANZLIC metadata profile guidelines;
  • Guiding principles for spatial data access and pricing policy;
  • Privacy guidelines for spatial information; and
  • Access to sensitive spatial data[21].

Lessons for SDI development in developing countries:

  • ANZLIC is an example of a bottom-up approach through the collaboration of dedicated GIS professionals which later involved higher level officials in the jurisdictions involved.
  • ANZLIC participation can only be voluntary as land administration and management are functions of state governments.
  • ANZLIC is only as successful as its stakeholders allow it to be;
  • ANZLIC members recognised the importance of key data sets very early in the project and which were up-dated and maintained by each organization.
  • Australia and New Zealand both have free availability of key national digital data sets and software.

It should be stated that most if not all of the Australian states have SDI committees and initiatives that are dealing with GIS policy and information issues at the state level (a notable example is WALIS of Western Australia – see In December 2010 the New Zealand Government Cabinet announced that it was going to develop a new NZ SDI policy.

The Americas Initiatives

United States of America[22]

The USA [population 312m (2011), land area 9.16m km2] is a constitutional federal republic of 50 states and one District, 3143 counties, cities, parishes and towns. The states and counties are responsible for the land administration system, apart from federal lands. All levels of government can generate and use geospatial information.

The development of the US National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) was initiated by Executive Order 12906 ["Coordinating Geographic Data Acquisition and Access: The National Spatial Data Infrastructure", 1994]. In 2003, certain SDI functions were transferred to the Secretary of Homeland Security. The NSDI is coordinated and implemented by the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) which has two significant initiatives that implement the NSDI.

The Geospatial One-Stop (GOS) which provides an Internet portal ( to facilitate data sharing for decision support systems and encourages partnerships across organizations.

The National Map (TNM), which integrates base US geographic data in partnership with content producers.

The US has been very active nationally and internationally in the development of the NSDI. Its government clearly acknowledges the significant benefits from implementing an SDI and continue to invest in the data and technology. Homeland Security was recently given a significant role in the development of the NSDI. The investments in the portal, the data and the coordination by the government help maintain the US as a global leader in the development of SDI.

Most US States are active in building up state-wide SDI policies, programs, and making available state information resources and especially California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, New York, Wisconsin and Wyoming. Several states have SDI committees and most have GIS spatial data clearinghouses, GIS councils or at least GIS coordination structures. They exist for improved dissemination of state-wide information and coordination of state-wide GIS and to promote better access for citizens of state information. Some county governments are also starting to promote county-wide SDI supported and guided by the Federal Government's NSDI program for support and guidance[23].

Lessons for SDI development in developing countries:

  • The Federal lead followed by state-level engagement helped secure the success of NSDI in the USA.
  • Success was not solely due to the level of funding - given the US budget, NSDI funding was not large
  • Effective promotion of the value and benefits of the NSDI was important to the success of the programme.
  • Progress and hard deliverables were demonstrated by the NSDI national portal / clearinghouse (Geospatial Onestop – now known as that was free for anyone to use[24].

Canada [population, 34.5m (2011), land area 10m sq km.] is a confederation of 10 provinces and 3 territories. It is a federal system with bi-cameral parliaments, and it has about 1900 municipalities and towns. Land administration is a provincial mandate.

The Canadian Geospatial Data Infrastructure (CGDI), by specifying the standards, access systems, and protocols necessary to harmonize Canada's geospatial data, enables a diverse community to access and share over the internet the geospatial information and data in over 1400 databases[26].

The adoption of standards to enable interoperability is the key to avoiding duplication of data sets and the consequent waste of time and money. Through the CGDI, governments agencies at all levels are managing their responsibilities more efficiently and enhancing decision making with more complete information at their disposal.

The CGDI, originally funded with CA$60M in 1999, CA$60M in 2005 and finally CA$12M in 2010, was created to:

  • Facilitate sharing of geospatial information;
  • Improve planning for future investments in geospatial data;
  • Expand collaborative partnerships that help leverage investments and reduce duplication;
  • Encourage the adoption of standards for sharing and using geospatial information;
  • Enable informed decision making through easy access to current information, knowledge and expertise;
  • Promote efficiency by reducing duplication through adoption of national standards, specifications and services that support collaboration;
  • Facilitate usability for Canadian governments, firms and individuals that need a reliable system, an "infrastructure" to access and use these resources;
  • Facilitate growth in the export of Canadian technology, products, expertise, and services[27].

Lessons for SDI development in developing countries:

  • Focus on a limited number high priority goals: the CGDI focussed on four thematic areas (public safety, public health, environment and aboriginal affairs)
  • Adopt international standards where available rather than creating purely national standards - the CGDI helped develop and adopt international technical standards rather than Canadian standards
  • Tailor data access and user policy developments to the national situation
  • Give priority to a viewing and discovery portal for finding and sharing geospatial data and services
  • Avoid complex legislation and encourage voluntary participation - CGDI participation is voluntary and no legislation has been enacted.
  • Central Government funding is likely to be important at the early stages - Federal funding support for the development of the CGDI was significant.

African Initiatives

SDI experience in Africa is mixed. Several projects have been overly ambitious, complex, and fragmented, with too many competing demands. Such projects have eventually lost traction due to long implementation timeframes with too few intermediate deliverables along the way.

Sensitive to these failures, current best practice is to focus on SDI applications and the importance of "quick wins." Local geospatial stakeholder communities and donors alike are increasingly adopting an implementation approach that focuses on a single thematic area, or sub-national geography, around which to construct their SDIs. Leveraging existing institutional structures and relationships can be vital in that regard and the stakeholder community needs to remain collectively sensitive to ensuring that all partners are engaged and have their voices heard. Most importantly, continued investment (from public funds or donor aid) towards a more comprehensive, multi-purpose, geographically-expansive, and more technologically advanced SDI is best secured through regular milestone deliverables against meaningful, specific business needs.


Ethiopia's first SDI programme commenced in 2003 and focussed on capturing and making widely available all geospatial data relevant to water resource management. Freshwater resources figure centrally in the populous land-locked country and managing freshwater storage and consumption is critical to agriculture, hydroelectric power generation, the freshwater fishery, and wildlife management. Initial momentum was achieved through a focus on developing the Ethiopian node of the African Water Information Clearinghouse (AWICH). While AWICH was intended to be more of a pan-African water resource management SDI, Ethiopia—lacking the infrastructure, technology, and expertise to create a standalone SDI—sought to dovetail their efforts on AWICH.

Ethiopia's approach was to first develop some core SDI competencies. An SDI sensitization workshop was first held for policymakers and other stakeholders. A second, more process- and skills-oriented workshop was then held for civil service technical staff, International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) staff, and other local stakeholders from which a technical working group was later formed.

Stakeholders agreed that prior to any new data collection, existing maps, digital datasets, texts, videos, and other reference materials held collectively by the stakeholder consortium would be assessed. This suggested a national inventory of all geospatial resources related to water management which required a structured approach to cataloguing these resources and the associated metadata. A consultant was contracted to deliver metadata capture training to technical working group members at that time to the FGDC[28] standard since ISO19115[29] was still in its infancy).

The software ENRAEMED[30] was identified as a suitable metadata editor with which to populate the metadata records. Between 2004 and 2009, some 28,000 geospatial assets related to water management in Ethiopia had been catalogued. Ethiopia has since expanded the national inventory beyond water to include all natural resources and, while ENRAEMED is still used for metadata capture, the ISO19115 standard has been increasingly adopted.

Lessons for SDI development in developing countries:

  • Remain sensitive to momentum and ensure the success of the SDI implementation through successive, smaller, "quick win" deliverables.
  • Leverage existing efforts, structures, and institutional arrangements to the extent possible, especially in cases with a relative absence of political support or a legislative mandate.
  • Ensure that there is a solid underlying business driver with a real demand driven business case and project champion to keep the SDI moving forward.
  • This is a good example of a wider (broader) SDI development, but implementers should try to focus in a thematic area to keep the level of complexity manageable.
Sierra Leone

A 2008-2009 SDI initiative focused on the short-term deliverable of rebuilding the national cadastre and land registry records that were largely destroyed during the 1991-2000 civil war. The Minister of Lands, Country Planning, and the Environment (MoLCPE), engaged several donor agencies to support this initiative. Third-party studies identified a need for capacity building around modern land surveying techniques using GPS and recommended that Sierra Leone invest in a local network of continuously operating reference stations (CORS).[31] Two additional independent consultancies recommended that any initiative towards a new land register would benefit from salvaging, rehabilitating, and digitizing the remaining analogue map collection that had survived the war. "Data rescue" of the existing hardcopy map collection would better enable, expedite, and help to validate the capture of land titles and deeds presented by private citizens to the Ministry for (re)registration.

Although much of the pre-war geospatial infrastructure had been destroyed or looted during the war, numerous disparate assets have been donated or procured in the post-war era, ranging from computer workstations and wide-bed plotters to GIS and remote sensing software and GPS equipment. Much of the GIS data and some low/medium-resolution satellite imagery collected during the United Nations Sierra Leone Mission (UNAMSIL)[32] were made available to local stakeholders.

With data and physical assets scattered across a disparate network of government, NGO, and government-related agencies, the stakeholders realized that an SDI focused on post-war reconstruction would be of benefit. With political endorsement from the Minister and the Prime Minister's Office, staff from the MoLCPE, Statistics Sierra Leone, and the Ministry of Information and Communication were extensively trained on international metadata standards and on metadata capture using the GeoNetwork[33] metadata editor and SDI repository.

The Government engaged a local IT geoinformation management consultancy to register the property deeds presented by the public and to host the SDI as there was insufficient expertise within the civil service. The stakeholder community agreed that each agency would create metadata entries for each of their geospatial assets and those records would, in turn, be replicated into a centralized repository in Freetown.

Fast, reliable, and secure internet connectivity amongst stakeholders lies at the heart of modern SDI. However, connectivity to the centralized repository proved to be inadequate for end users to leverage the SDI and this was beyond the influence of the SDI consortium.

As well as the Internet technological challenges the project was impacted by factors external to the stakeholders. The project champion, the Minister of Lands, left office mid-project, there were several long gaps in donor funding and the consultancy engaged for the project was not being paid.As a consequence, the project lost traction and, as of August 2011, remained dormant in search of a new champion and renewed funding.

Lessons for SDI development in developing countries:

  • Though Sierra Leone was assisted through donor and other NGO funding, there was a lack of continuity when donor projects came to a close. Sustainability needs to be built into initial SDI policy and implementation plans. Both initial and ongoing funding is a critical issue.
  • Be sensitive to, and have a mitigation plan for, technological challenges such as limited and intermittent Internet access.
  • The Sierra Leone example highlights the importance of wider societal issues as well as 'chance' events (i.e. resignation of integral personnel) in shaping the course of SDI development.
  • This example also highlights the importance of having a thematic driver to get things moving.
South Africa

The Republic of South Africa [population 49.1million (2009; land area of 1,2m km²] has 9 provinces with elected parliaments and a bi-cameral government. There are approximately 200 municipalities. Land administration and management are mandated to the central level.

In 1997, South Africa funded the National Spatial Information Framework (NSIF) SDI initiative to support the utilization of spatial information in decision making and the Department of Land Affairs established a component for its coordination. The NSIF includes policies, institutional arrangements, human resource development and standards for geographic information and represents an advanced model in the African context. There is a focus on developing mechanisms to improve access to existing information, avoid duplication in data collection and management and ensure that new data captured can be easily utilized together with existing geographic data.

The intention is not to create a single central database, but to make it possible to link different databases, which are maintained by agencies, using common standards and protocols. This architecture supported by common standards and protocols is a critical requirement and depends on good connectivity and relatively high levels of cooperation.

In 2003, South Africa enacted the Spatial Data Infrastructure Act (Act No. 51)) which established:

  • The South African Spatial Data Infrastructure (SASDI), which is the national technical and policy framework, with the main objective to facilitate the cooperation, promotion, capture, use and access to spatial information;
  • The Committee for Spatial Information (CSI), which will oversee the standards and use of spatial information; and
  • Provision for the capturing of metadata in a metadata catalogue.

South Africa, as of 2008, was one of only six (6) African countries to have enabled SDI development through legislation (the others being Morocco, Tunisia, Niger, Nigeria, and Gabon).

Lessons for SDI development in developing countries:

  • Use of a law to establish SDI, particularly to form the guiding committee for SDI, to specify the metadata collection tasks; and to sort out responsibilities: Legislation is a powerful SDI enabler.
  • The co-operation and engagement of all stakeholders is vital.
  • A state supported GIS skills development initiative was put in place that worked in both the private and public sectors.

Zambia provides an example of how a thematic SDI evolved from a community of GIS practitioners working within the public health and primary healthcare sectors on a very specific measurement challenge. Zambia has amongst the highest HIV/AIDS infection rates in Africa. A technical working group meeting in Lusaka 2007 discussed the challenges faced in quantifying sub-national HIV/AIDS rates and how to redress them. The Working Group (which included the Zambia Ministry of Health, the US Centres for Disease Control, and the World Health Organization) agreed that a population distribution map, a geocoded census of health facilities and an inventory of their programmes, equipment, capital and human resources were needed to understand the healthcare service provision and HIV/AIDS transmission across the country. Conducting a census of the road transport network so as to understand accessibility to those health facilities was also considered necessary.

The Working Group partners agreed that while the Ministry of Health would remain the custodian of these datasets all health data consortium members would have equal and free access. By spring 2008, this initiative focused around HIV/AIDS surveillance had evolved into an extended dialogue around the construction of a more fully-fledged health sector SDI. With relationships in place, mutual trust amongst the partners, and with some initial successes, the effort was expanded and, of necessity, more attention was given to technical standards around ground control, common geodetic reference frames, and consistent metadata standards.

However, probably because Zambia is one of the poorest and least developed nations in the world and because Zambia is so focussed on its devastating HIV/AIDS epidemic, there currently appears to be no broadening of the health SDI into other thematic areas.

Lessons for SDI development in developing countries:

While the longer-term architecture and application areas of an SDI will be generic and cross-disciplinary, focusing initially on specific application areas that address well-articulated needs can provide strong foundations for an SDI. An absence of concrete application areas can strip SDI initiatives of traction.

Middle Eastern Initiatives

United Arab Emirates

Formed in 1971, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) [Population 8m (2010), land area 67,340km²] is a constitutional federation consisting of seven emirates: Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm al-Qaiwain, Ra's al-Khaimah and Fujairah.

Each of the Emirates has a mandate to undertake SDI for its own territory. The Abu Dhabi Spatial Data Infrastructure (AD-SDI) is a programme of the Government of Abu Dhabi, administered within the Abu Dhabi Systems and Information Centre (ADSIC) and its e-government programme to facilitate the sharing of geospatial data among government agencies and other stakeholders. Overall the ADSIC has an ICT vision to empower government, businesses and society with open access to spatial information and geo-spatial e-services and to spread spatial thinking in civil society.

Abu Dhabi adopted a SDI Master Plan in 2007 and has a 2010-2014 SDI Strategy. This is in-line with the overall Abu Dhabi Government Vision and Policy, which aims for an e-Society driven by business.

The SDI started in 2007 with 8 agencies and by 2010 had built up to nearly 40 entities including local government, quasi government, utilities, higher education, and private sector groups. Data sources come mainly from education, health, environment, municipal services, planning, and utilities. It has a metadata catalogue available on the AD geospatial portal.

The mode of operation involves inter-governmental and stakeholder collaboration. The SDI supports integrated planning, and includes public safety and security, integrated planning for social, environmental and economic aspects of civil society.

New operations in 2010 included: street naming and addressing, further key data sets, development and maintenance, and data licensing agreements. Outreach programs which are used by the AD-SDI group include: newsletters, GIS days, website operation, publicity campaigns and higher education with reviews of related curricula for possible inclusion.

On-going AD SDI actions include: strengthening of AD‐SDI policy and regulatory frameworks, monitoring of the overall enterprise GIS and the utility GIS and 'roadmaps' or development plans. There is also an initiative for a geo‐maturity program among all GIS members, and the aim to continue to build spatial thinking and spatial education in the country as a whole.

There currently exists a geo-spatial portal and a data clearinghouse with more than 300 map layers made available to the community, plus the metadata database.

Lesson for SDI development in developing countries:

The AD-SDI has achieved success through:

  • excellent planning and development programmes;
  • good management structure;
  • support from the highest levels of government;
  • broad stakeholder engagement

Though more readily achievable by a financially strong economy these are sound goals to pursue for any country.

SDI Champions

This section showcases the significant developments and progress of Korea and Brazil in SDI. The information below is derived from World Bank sponsored case studies and whilst the detailed content they contain varies considerably, they contribute valuable insight into how NSDI may be pursued.

Best practice examples from Korea

Based on the evaluation by GIS experts and existing NGIS evaluation reports, best practice examples were chosen from the activities of central and local government, on the basis of considered good practice at a national, local and GIS application level.

National Integrated (Spatial) Information System (NIIS)

Managed by the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs (MLTM) and the Ministry of Public Administration and Security (MOPAS), the project for "National Integrated (Spatial) Information System (NIIS)" is part of the NSDI program to integrate spatial data with administrative data. Using a process-based rather than product-based approach, both central and local governments have participated. The initiative can provide lessons for developing countries in terms of SDI as well as e-government.

The NIIS project, launched in 2008, is an on-going Korean e-government project with a 2008 -2012 budget, from both national and local funding, of approximately $370m). In 2010, the budget was directed towards integrating 9 applications from 5 organizations. These were: MLTM's National Land Information, Coastal Management Information, Korean Tidal flat Information, Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries' (MIFAFF) Agricultural Information, Ministry for Environment's (ME) National Environmental Information and Ecological Information, Korea Forest Service's Forestry GIS and Cultural Heritage Administration of Korea's (CHA) Cultural Heritage Information.

Recognition of the importance and benefits of a geospatial platform for "next generation" Korea led to the launch of this project to integrate various spatial, administrative, policy and statistical data. In addition, through providing an Open API, it is possible to mash-up and create value-add services for its customers in the private sector. The geospatial platform will be a solution that facilitates internet data sharing and reuse of resources.

Experience to date indicates that if integrated into the wider context of e-government it will lead to cost savings, better informed investments, increased efficiency and improved innovations. The Platform will improve overall management of geospatial resources by leveraging portfolio management and utilizing best practices. Though still in progress it points the way forward for next generation SDI, with a focus on the geospatial platform to facilitate data sharing, cost savings and value-added services. It has also emphasized that public and private partnership among various public governments and private organizations at both national and local level is necessary.

NGII (National Geographic Information Institute)

The Korean National Geographic Information Institute, (NGII) established in 1958, is the only national surveying and mapping organization under the MLTM. The NGII, as a center for national geographic information infrastructure, records, provides, maintains and manages all of the national land information above and below ground, computerizing and publishing maps. Two major projects of the NGII are particularly noteworthy: (i) the building of the National Fundamental Data and (ii) the National Spatial Imagery Database.

The project for the National Spatial Imagery Database improved the efficiency of compilation and revision of maps and the monitoring of the land, using aerial images. Decision-making systems with the national base maps and digital image maps for (1) urban planning, (2) disaster management, (3) natural resources management and (4) telecommunication networks were also developed[34]. GIS Experts have emphasized the importance of the National Spatial Imagery Database as fundamental data to support the greater use of visual applications. The, NGII provides the public with aerial images and remote sensing images data via National Spatial Imagery Information Service Portal[35].

The project for Korean fundamental spatial data is important for both Korean national and local SDI. It consists of themes relating to administrative boundaries, transportation, hydrography, cadastral maps, geodetic controls, topographic maps, facilities and satellite imagery & aerial photographs. Further work remains to define these fundamental spatial data and develop framework data standards as TTA standards.

The NGII example indicates that building a National Basic Map such as National Fundamental Databases or a digital topological map should be a priority task and that the imagery is of increasing value for rapid data update.

<Good points>

Through the establishment of National Spatial Imagery Database, NGII is cooperating and working together with the local governments to share ortho-imagery data and to prevent dual management efforts for them
Using aerial images, to compile and revise maps and monitor the land,
As a National Basic Map, Creation of National Fundamental Data and Digital Topological Map
Real-time data currency and efficient and effective data updating

Statistical Geographic Information Service (SGIS)

To strengthen the national competitiveness of Korea, SGIS has created various statistical geographic data sets. Access to these resources and many useful statistical geographic services is now available via the SGIS portal[36]. Statistical geographic data and information are one of the key elements related to the Millennium Development Goals including economic development. In this context, the SGIS portal provides a useful exemplar of best practice in NSDI,

One of the SGIS services ['Experiencing the statistical map' service] allows users to enter their own statistical data in order to create their own SGIS map. By using the SGIS Open API, users can have statistics data on their own website through DHTM or JavaScript. Advanced users can also create more sophisticated statistical applications. SGIS is therefore a key NSDI element for data, service and applications.

Figure 3.2: Statistical Geographic Information Service. Source:
Korea Forest GIS Service

The Korea Forest GIS Service is a good example of as the best practice in NSDI Korea's Forest Spatial Data Infrastructure Portal is being used to survey and assess damages by blight and harmful insects as well as manage forest resources, forest product, and breed resources. It is also used to provide a landslide monitoring system, wild fire monitoring system, street lights management system, and forest GIS management system. In addition, citizens have easy access to the web-based forest GIS services and are therefore, able to obtain useful, high-quality information[37].

Forest officers can use GIS to integrate disparate data and serve the information throughout the organization by creating a unified channel for effective and efficient management including managing administrative forest maps and data[38].

The concept of SDI in the Forest domain is introduced in the Forest Spatial Data Infrastructure Portal Service. The Portal is a Web system which integrates hardware, software and human resources enabling users to exploit the forest geospatial information and analysis output for planning and decision making support. Web 2.0-based JavaScript API and AJAX are the key technologies adopted. The portal service supports any kind of standards-based web browser

The Portal enables connection to the National GIS and improves practices to standardize forest GIS. All future forest GIS services will be integrated into this Portal, and all of their information will be provided through it. In 2011, the existing forest portal site will be enhanced to a center offering a forest database online service. Currently, there is no local GIS database circulation model; by building an integrated forestry GIS database circulation system, the Korea Forest Service will set the national standard for a GIS circulation system.

The Portal enables users to search, disseminate and exploit forest GIS data. Based on systematic forest information as well as customized individual services, the portal serves citizens as well as professionals. The portal has also enhanced the efficiency of data management through integrated services and management of forest GIS databases. Korea's excellent Internet infrastructure has made a tremendously positive contribution to the satisfaction of the Web service. The user interface of the Korea Forest GIS Service is depicted in Figure 3.3.

Figure 3.3: Korea Forest GIS Service. Source: [1]
<Good points>

Evolution of the concept of SDI from GIS in Forest domain.
Forest Spatial Data Infrastructure One-Stop Portal Service can be a lesson learned.
Ease of access to spatial forest data and service is creating many value-added services.
The use of standards and Web 2.0-based technology.

Seoul Metropolitan City

The Seoul Metropolitan City (capital city of South Korea) has developed its Urban Planning Information System with successful utilization of 3D technology. With various 3D map services already available from major internet portals like Google and MS, it is another indication of the 3D technology being used by professionals in critical decision making. Using the 3D GIS system, Seoul expects to promote participation to city plans by providing 12 million city residents public web access and in turn boost the tourism sector to bring in more foreign visitors. In order to reach that goal, new parks will be established to aid tourism operations[39].

Figure 3.4: Seoul GIS Portal. Source: [2]

Through the Seoul GIS Portal Service, Map search, Portal and 3D theme services are available[40]. 3D services provide Tourism and VR (Virtual Reality) experiences. Also, users can enter their own information to create their own map on the Seoul map in 'UCC' service. See Figures 3.4 and 3.5.

Figure 3.5a: Seoul 3D GIS Portal Service. Source:
Figure 3.5b: Seoul 3D GIS Portal Service. Source:

The Seoul Metropolitan Government has used GIS to eliminate redundant data processing and save costs by leveraging existing spatial data. The SDW (Spatial Data Warehouse) was created to eliminate redundant data processing and to save cost by leveraging the existing spatial data. As Seoul has been required to provide a unified channel for searching, checking and acquiring spatial data, the SDW was proposed to meet such requirements by the interior officials responsible for GIS-related projects. It not only improves efficiency of administration activities, but also simplifies the process of authoring field data. Also, Seoul developed a SDW to provide a unified channel for searching, checking, and acquiring spatial data; the SDW improves administration activities, such as decision making and management work flows, and simplifies the process of authoring field data. The accuracy and updating of spatial data served to the public were also enhanced. The SDW has become an excellent reference for expanding into a national spatial data infrastructure.

The SDW contains all of the necessary spatial layers including transportation, land & building records, census and demographic data. Moreover, it is the fundamental base to implement all GIS applications of Seoul. The warehouse being operated by this global city sustaining such a big population became a great reference to expand into the national spatial data infrastructure. Its benefits are:

  • Reduced duplication of data
  • improved usability of the existing spatial data.
  • Improved efficiency of managing spatial data by having access through only one channel
  • Increased efficiency of administration workflow by fully exploiting spatial data
  • Enhanced spatial data services to public

Korea Land Information System (KLIS)

The Korea Land Information System (KLIS), developed by the Ministry of Government and Home Affairs (MOGAHA) and Korea Cadastral Survey Corporation (KCSC) from 2001, provides cadastral information through the Internet.

Surveyors make use of cadastral survey results for executing boundary survey, subdivision survey and related tasks.. The cadastral administration module can be used for examining cadastral survey results or updating cadastral records in municipalities. If there are cadastral surveys or requests for cadastral data from a municipality, a cadastral administrator sends a file through the Internet. This process is depicted in Figure 3.6.

Figure 3.6: KLIS Architecture. Source: Lee (2009)[41]
<Good points>

Harmonization model of top-down with bottom-up, by matching funds and with partnerships is recommendable.
Proper division of who does what- at the beginning, creation of data and developing of applications by central government, and later management and operation by local governments is distinctive.
Integration of land information and cadastral information.

Best practice examples from Brazil

City of Belo Horizonte

Belo Horizonte's GIS development efforts began in 1989, as part of the administration's response to the numerous new challenges presented by the 1988 Brazilian Constitution. The new constitution emphasized a shift of responsibilities from the Federal and State levels to the local level. Various public services, such as health, basic education, water and sewage, energy, transportation, and traffic were transferred from other levels of government to the municipalities, along with regulations and standards that placed additional pressure on them to be more responsive towards the demands of the citizens.

Traditionally, in Brazil, most urban GIS projects were led by tax collection departments, rather than by urban planning departments. In Belo Horizonte, GIS was developed by the municipal IT company (PRODABEL), which was also the responsible for the city's cartography. This unusual scope of activities enabled PRODABEL, early in the project, to form a multidisciplinary team of specialists in several IT areas (databases, information systems, computer graphics) as well as in fields such as urban cadastre, cartography, surveying and others.

Concern over multiple uses of the data was present early on in the project. Ensuring the level of investment and political support required to push the project forward at a time when this technology was largely unknown, required project managers to propose applications in many different areas. Project managers were also able to convince decision makers throughout the administration that a solid base map was required in order to provide adequate support for the thematic applications. With this, Belo Horizonte's GIS faced, early on, three important challenges: (1) building a general-purpose database, (2) developing a wide range of applications, mostly in social fields, and (3) keeping this database up-to-date, as required by the applications (Davis Jr. and Zuppo 1995)[42].

The first challenge is directly related to research in topics such as data transfer standards, evolving towards interoperability, and then on to semantics and ontologies. This caused part of PRODABEL's GIS team to evolve into a research team, continuously seeking innovative approaches and solutions to all these themes, often in cooperation with universities and research centers[43].

The second challenge was arguably the most important aspect of GIS/SDI as a technological tool, which is its interdisciplinary nature. From this, the involvement of specialists from each application area was required, thus forcing the establishment of strong connections between PRODABEL's original GIS team and thematic specialists in each of the city's departments, particularly in health, education, sanitation, transportation, planning and licensing. In each of these areas, GIS became a tool geared towards technical activities, used directly by technicians, with the IT and base map support being given by PRODABEL.

The third challenge required an approach that was neither academic nor integrational. Updating such a varied database (currently comprising over 6 million objects, distributed over 300 object classes) requires a strong coordination of efforts and cooperation with external agencies (utility companies, state government departments, federal institutions, universities, and others). In turn, this drive towards cooperation provokes an interest in data sharing among the municipal administration and these external actors, which expands even more the range of GIS data and applications, thus forming a virtuous circle, leading to increased data quality, interoperability, and scale gains.

Belo Horizonte's GIS path from its cartographic beginnings to a true SDI can be divided into three phases:

  • initial capacity building - including initial data set creation, hardware and software acquisition, personnel training, and initial applications development.
  • sustainability - through the deployment of a wide range of applications and the assurance of data quality through maintenance routines.
  • maturity - in which the accumulation of knowledge and experience with urban GIS leads to a more secure definition of goals and to a vision of the role this technology can play in the future of local government. In this phase, a new technological architecture (Davis Jr. and Oliveira 2002)[44] starts to replace hardware and software from the early 1990s, data sets are renewed, and an already wide cooperation agreement gains further momentum.

Initial Capacity Building (1989-1992)

This phase began with the decision to create a new digital city base map. PRODABEL started discussions with institutions and companies that were seen as possible partners in the use and updating of the base map. This included the utility companies plus municipal, state, and federal organizations. In these discussions, the possibility of sharing the high cost of database creation acted as a catalyst to push cooperation forward. The joint project involved generating a compatibility table for street codes. This evolved into the development of the first common address data set, with over 300,000 individual addresses, georeferenced as points (Davis Jr. 1993)[45]. The creation of the addressing database was accelerated by the creation of an image data set by the scanning of existing cadastral plans which also helped PRODABEL to accelerate the absorption of the previous cadastral routines by the new system.

In parallel, PRODABEL started internal and external training. The initial proprietary GIS solution purchased by PRODABEL had a number of technical advantages but was somewhat difficult to integrate with other information systems. External trainers were not available and so in-house training was increased and an accelerated transition to an alternative desktop GIS made. A strategy to generate a wide range of applications helped secure engagement of the municipal administration. Specialists in each application's field participated in the development efforts. The need for a clear strategy for sustainability was recognised, and this led to the Sustainability Phase.

Sustainability Phase (1992-1995)

Geographic database development continued with the addition of urban infrastructure and services, street center lines, and spatial reference units (e.g. neighborhoods, health care districts, census sectors, planning sectors). PRODABEL's GIS team started to participate in many GIS conferences, nationally and internationally, and to publish articles on, for example, GIS concepts, development strategies, technology, maintenance PRODABEL's multidisciplinary team became fully operational, and started to expand its reach through new technologies (e.g. desktop mapping, remote sensing, digital image processing). Research initiatives began to take place, motivated by the early publications and participation in academic events.

A landmark was the development of a maintenance methodology for the digital data (Davis Jr. and Zuppo 1995)[46] derived by adaptation of the manual, paper-cartography based routines and based on the field experience of the cadastral team (Silva and Ottoni 1995)[47]. A key decision was to prioritize the data that would be shared by multiple applications. The up-date of object classes was not considered until an application determined its use and a practical means for its maintenance. The fusion of practical and technical knowledge was a key element of the strategy.

Agreements on shared data were reached in this phase. An agreement on street codes and addresses made it feasible to create a street code conversion table involving all the coding systems in use. Many of the partners then revised their conventional information systems to reflect and to facilitate this integration. An agreement on the limits of some commonly used spatial information units was also developed in this phase.

In summary, the sustainability phase was characterized by numerous efforts to stabilize, standardize, consolidate, and evolve with the GIS towards its original goals. This was achieved by deepening the emphasis on applications, by increasing the GIS team's technical capacity, and by extending the reach of the GIS data to as many partners and users as possible. Making good use of the investment in the GIS has driven these efforts, thus generating a successful strategy of turning something that was seen as expensive into something perceived as inherently valuable, inside and outside the municipal administration.

Maturity Phase (1995-today)

This phase is characterized by extensive usage of GIS resources and a drive towards a new technological architecture (Davis Jr. and Oliveira 2002)[48], through which the distribution of data and the integration with partners can be achieved with greater ease and flexibility. PRODABEL's research and development efforts started producing results, materialized as methodologies, in-depth studies, and experiments with issues that are clearly in the project's future. A geographic data modelling method has been proposed, and is currently used in many organizations throughout the country (Borges, Davis Jr. et al. 2001)[49]. A new distributed and interoperable architecture for the GIS was studied with strong support for digital imagery and is under implementation (Davis Jr. and Oliveira 2002)[50]. PRODABEL are currently researching advanced subjects, such as process and action modelling through ontologies, visualization in large spatial and spatio-temporal databases, and service-oriented architectures.

Maturity is also reflected in the scope and range of applications. Most cover social fields including education, health care, transportation, urban development and safety. This breadth of application and range of partners meant maintenance arrangements had to also evolve. PRODABEL remained in charge of coordinating the updating effort but the maturity of Belo Horizonte's GIS is demonstrated by the cooperative efforts to maintain the address database. This cooperation started, with the matching of street codes. Currently, representatives of every one of the 27 organizations that signed the cooperation agreement, meet every two weeks to discuss actions, to exchange knowledge on technical aspects, and to coordinate joint development.

This kind of data, expertise, effort and investment sharing initiatives, together with data of wide applicability in standard formats, available on-line, and housed at a "neutral" server, has moved the evolution from a multi-purpose GIS to an SDI strategy for Belo Horizonte. Technological barriers were once great. Originally every partner used a GIS from a different vendor. With new technological tools, such as spatial databases and Web-based GIS, these barriers have diminished in importance and future SDI focussed evolution (we can mention research topics such as ontology-driven GIS, geospatial semantics, service-oriented architectures, OpenGIS standards, geospatial Web services, and many more) will reduce those barriers even further.

Bahia State: IDE-BA and Geoportal Bahia

Bahia [564,692km²], at almost the size of France, is one of the largest Brazilian states. The population of Salvador, the state capital, is 2.8m. Geographic information is important for governance, public administration and territorial planning.

In 2002, REBATE – a spatial information technologies research network composed by public and private sectors and led by the Federal University of Bahia – showed, with a survey, that most spatial data sets in Bahia state were hard to access. Only one of the 30 surveyed organizations offered a link to download spatial data from the Web. To overcome this situation, REBATE proposed "to establish more favorable environmental conditions to diffuse Geomatics among private and government institutions, through an SDI, in order to guarantee diffusion and access to geographic information" (Pereira and Rocha 2002)[51].

A year later, a new survey found that the spatial data exchange between organizations was increasing, as well as the number of spatial data elements collected, but data were still not openly available to be shared. Only a few state government Web pages provided information about GIS projects, metadata and how to access spatial data (Mattos 2003)[52]. In 2003, REBATE published a research paper which summarized initiatives in organizing state and local geographic information.

Based on this research, and observing international experiences, REBATE presented a proposal for a multi-institution arrangement to develop an SDI in Bahia (Pereira and Rocha 2004)[53]. In the proposal, a coordination board would take responsibility for establishing policies and standards, for organizing a data framework and generating metadata content, and for developing and deploying a geoportal as a tool to distribute basic spatial data and to provide information about existing spatial datasets produced in Bahia. A geoportal was envisioned as a virtual repository of all spatial data produced and maintained anywhere in Bahia state, regardless of storage format and structure. It would offer basic spatial datasets to download, an on-line metadata catalogue with links to other datasets, and possibly some Web mapping services based on available data (Pereira and Rocha 2004)[54]. At that time there was already a formal proposal to the state's Cartographic Committee to coordinate a state SDI, generating an executive order from the State of Bahia, which restructured the committee (Decreto n. 8.292, de 14 de agosto de 2002).

In this context, the implementation of a geoportal was proposed in 2004 as a strategy to start building an SDI in Bahia state by improving geographical data and information visibility (Rocha and Pereira 2004)[55]. The initial proposal evolved into a conceptual design, developed by PRODEB, Bahia state's information technology company, in a partnership with the state's social and economic studies organization (SEI – Superintendência de Estudos Econômicos e Sociais da Bahia), which is also responsible for Bahia's regional cartography. In April 2005, the conceptual design for a Bahia SDI was concluded (Pereira et al., 2009)[56]. This conceptual design evolved later, considering developments on Web services and SOA-based SDI, so that a new proposal was needed (Pereira, Davis Jr. et al. 2009), now named IDE-BA (Infraestrutura de Dados Espaciais da Bahia), which includes the Geoportal Bahia and a metadata catalogue. Currently, all specifications for the development and deployment of IDE-BA are ready for public bidding, while a new set of digital cartographic data is being finalized. Funding was obtained as a collection of small shares of international financing for public works, such as road construction, from sources such as the World Bank.

São Paulo State: IDEA and DataGEO

São Paulo State's Environment Secretariat (Secretaria do Meio Ambiente do Estado de São Paulo – SMA-SP) promotes the preservation, improvement and recovery of environmental conditions in the state, coordinating and integrating actions regarding environmental protection. It is responsible for creating and implementing the state's environmental policyand for environmental licensing and monitoring, for promoting environmental educational, and for developing standards and regulations. Several organizations work under SMA-SP's umbrella with various complementary mandates.

Since 2007, SMA-SP has defined 21 strategic environmental projects, which address a variety of environmental agendas, such as the reduction of solid waste, sewage treatment and destination, air pollution, water and groundwater quality, ecotourism, environmental education, reduction of sugar cane residue burnouts, and the integration of environmental licensing activities. To carry out these agendas, SMA-SP establishes links with other state government organizations, municipal governments, NGOs, academia and federal institutions.

The efficient management of spatial information on the environment is of strategic importance to SMA-SP and SDI provides a path to avoid duplicating efforts in spatial data management whilst providing an opportunity for sharing and publication of an extensive array of spatial data.

IDEA ("Infraestrutura de Dados Espaciais Ambientais" - environmental spatial data infrastructure, in Portuguese) is the name of SMA-SP's SDI. As with IDE-BA from Bahia State, IDEA will be based on a service-oriented framework, with a central metadata and services catalogue and a geoportal. The main data sources for IDEA include some of SMA-SP's units, such as CETESB (Companhia Ambiental do Estado de São Paulo), along with the state's cartography and geography institute and IBGE.

In cooperation with academic partners, a conceptual model and an ontology for environmental management and monitoring to populate the metadata on data and services with meaningful semantic annotations, is in development. A contract is to be placed for the development and deployment of the geoportal and of a metadata management system and the preparation of a set of background services that provide access to basic cartographic data. A full set of specifications and guidelines for the expansion of IDEA beyond the first services is also called for in the terms of reference. INDE's standards and definitions, particularly in the case of the Brazilian metadata profile, are included in the specifications. Funding for the creation of IDEA is from a small share in a large international financing project dedicated to highway construction and improvement.

The Brazilian National Institute for Space Research (INPE)

INPE undertakes activities that range from launching observation satellites, collecting their data and creating and using environmental models. INPE is the National research institution that collects data and performs calculations on the annual rate of deforestation of the Amazon rain forest.

Historically, INPE has focused its attention on a number of issues of direct relevance to the understanding of the functioning of natural systems, mainly the Brazilian rain forest, and how this and related systems are being affected by climate and land use changes. Important contributions have been made in understanding natural climate variability, the climate impact of deforestation and of biomass burning, and the complex dynamics of land use change in the region.

INPE's entered the GIS software market in the 1980s, when the Brazilian Government adopted a "market reserve" policy aiming at the protection of the local information technology industry. For eight years, there was a heavy economic incentive provided by the government to produce local information technology (IT) hardware goods. The 'market reserve' legislation provided a powerful incentive for local development of GIS and Remote Sensing Image Processing technology. As a result of this scenario, INPE established its Image Processing Division in 1984 with the following aims: (a) local development and dissemination of image processing and GIS systems in Brazil; (b) establishment of a research program in Image Processing and GIS, and (c) pursuit of cooperative programs with universities, government organizations and private companies.

In 1986, INPE brought out Brazil's first 'GIS + image' processing station based on a MS-DOS PC-286. The system was used extensively by 150 universities and research labs up to 1996. In 1992, given recent advances in hardware and software and the changes in information technology policy in Brazil, INPE started the development of a free GIS software, SPRING, which is widely used in GIS courses in Brazilian universities. INPE is also developing an open source GIS library in partnership with the Catholic University in Rio de Janeiro.

Recently, INPE launched an open data initiative called Global Forest Information System (GFIS). GFIS should allow remote access to its database so scientists can experiment with their own tools. Applying this idea to environmental monitoring, INPE envisions GFIS (Câmara, Vinhas et al. 2009)[57] to become an enhanced "Digital Earth" concept. The Digital Earth metaphor can become much more than today's virtual globes and work as a large-scale repository of data, services, and models that can be discovered and used by the multiple actors involved in rainforest monitoring. The key objective of GFIS is to enable a broad range of research and operational data to be indexed, searched and discovered for open use by all interested parties

Summary of General Principles from International SDI Case Studies

The relevance of the case studies and best practice examples considered throughout this chapter is the experience gained and lessons that might be learned for future SDI development, particularly in developing countries. These are dealt with in Chapter 5. However, to conclude this chapter, some general principles drawn from the experience of the cases examined above, are considered below.

Principle: Leverage and build upon existing efforts, structures, and institutional arrangements to the extent possible, especially in cases with a relative absence of political support or a legislative mandate.

Principle: While the longer-term architecture and application areas of an SDI will be generic and cross-disciplinary, focus initially on specific application areas that address well-articulated needs. When concrete application areas are absent, SDI initiatives tend to lose traction.

Principle: While the initial implementation of SDI components in developing countries is often assisted through donor and other NGO funding, it is sometimes the handover and lack of continuity where SDIs fail when donor projects come to a close.

Principle: Be sensitive to and have a mitigation plan for technological challenges during the early phases of SDI implementation activities.

Principle: Legislation is a powerful SDI enabler.

Principle: All stakeholders need to remain engaged and encouraged to remain at the table.

Other Lessons from an International Perspective

  • Role of Government: In the last decade many governments have adopted a pro-active role in SDI establishment through legislation (South Africa, Croatia, and in many of the EU countries) and the provision of government funding. Prior to this, SDI in some cases relied on the voluntary efforts of GIS professionals in land administration and environmental agencies.
  • Geospatial data is free in many countries: Geospatial data in the form of softcopy maps and databases are being provided free of charge to all users through SDI websites in several countries including the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, all of which provide suitable data for SDI base information purposes. In most of those countries software is provided free of charge to view the respective map data.
  • National statistical organizations continue to provide statistics free of charge in many countries: Also they have started to use GIS principles as tools to providing geospatial data nearly down to the level nationwide. In both Jordan and Uganda they are not well supported by the national mapping organizations in their efforts: both groups are out in the field doing hand held GPS surveys of the administrative boundaries.
  • New technologies have changed the rules: New technologies especially GPS and satellite imagery (Google Earth and Bong Maps), Open GIS freeware and the Internet have made it possible for civil society to ignore national mapping organizations which have out dated maps at inflated prices.


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  3. Jackson, M. J., Schell. D., Taylor, D. R. F., 2009, Revising the Concept of National Spatial Data Infrastructure, GIS Professional, pp28-30, Issue 30 (October)
  4. McLaughlin, J. D. (1991) “Towards national spatial data infrastructure”, Proc. Canadian Conference on Geographic Information Systems, Ottawa, pp 1-5.
  6. See also:
  8. See
  9. For example, INSPIRE has directives for Network Services (see which outline the requirements for a network and the access to the network. This directive includes the quality of service, discovery services and viewing services requirements. Other directives and guidance documents include:
  10. Zekusic, Sanja, and Zeljko Bacic (2010), “Croatia: Official Spatial Data as the Basis for Management in Agriculture,” FIG 2010 Congress, Sydney, Croatia ( See also See annex D for further details of the Croation SDI
  11. General references for the Netherlands SDI:;;
  12. For further information on GIDEON see Annex D
  13. (December 2010)
  14. Masser, Ian, 2010, ‘Building European Spatial Data Infrastructures’, 2ed, ESRI Press, Redlands, USA (Move to reference list)
  15. General references for the SDI in Sweden; ; ;
  17. See
  18. For further information on the Singapore SDI see Annex D
  19. See Annex D for further information on Singapore’s SDI
  20. General References for Australia and New Zealand: (ANZLIC web site); (GeoScience Australia web site); (Land Information New Zealand web site);; (Australia Soil Resource Information System web site); (Australian Land Use web site); (paper by Chris Body and John Hockaday on Metadata ISO 19115, Rome 2007); (reasons for spatial information strategies).
  21. Available at
  22. General references for the US SDI:;
  23. For further information regarding county-wide SDI development see:
  24. See Annex D for further information on the US SDI
  25. General references for the Canadian SDI: (GeoConnections web site); (GeoBase web site); (GeoGratis web site); (GeoScience web site); (Discovery Portal); (Canadian Council on Geomatics web site); (Interagency Committee web site)
  26. For more detailed information on the Canadian SDI see Annex D
  38. The Korea Forest Service received a Special Achievement in GIS (SAG) Award at the 2009 ESRI International User Conference (ESRI UC) in San Diego, California. The organization received this honour for its vision, leadership, and innovative use of ESRI's geographic information system (GIS) technology. The Korea Forest Service was selected from more than 300,000 organizations worldwide and recognized during today's SAG awards ceremony for making extraordinary contributions to our global society.
  41. Lee, Young-Ho,92009), Strategy for Improving Cadastral Spatial Data Quality for a more effective e-Government based on NSDI
  42. Davis Jr., C. A. and C. A. Zuppo (1995). Updating urban geographic databases: methodology and challenges. Geographic Information Systems / Land Information Systems (GIS/LIS) 1995 Annual Conference, Nashville (TN), USA.
  43. For a sequence of research initiatives conducted along that path see Davis Jr. (1995); Fonseca and Davis Jr. (1999); Fonseca, Egenhofer et al. (2000); Davis Jr. (2002) and Fonseca, Egenhofer et al. (2002).
  44. Davis Jr, C. A. and P. A. Oliveira (2002). "Interoperable and distributed GIS for large local governments (in Portuguese) " Informática Pública 4(1): 121-141.
  45. Davis Jr., C. A. (1993). Address Base Creation Using Raster-Vector Integration. URISA 1993 Annual Conference, Atlanta, Georgia, URISA.
  46. Davis Jr., C. A. and C. A. Zuppo (1995). Updating urban geographic databases: methodology and challenges. Geographic Information Systems / Land Information Systems (GIS/LIS) 1995 Annual Conference, Nashville (TN), USA.
  47. Silva, T. E. P. P. and M. V. Ottoni (1995). The importance of cartography for the success of GIS deployment in the city of Belo Horizonte (in Portuguese). XVII Brazilian Cartographic Conference, Salvador (BA).
  48. Davis Jr, C. A. and P. A. Oliveira (2002). "Interoperable and distributed GIS for large local governments (in Portuguese) " Informática Pública 4(1): 121-141.
  49. Borges, K. A. V., C. A. Davis Jr., et al. (2001). "OMT-G: An Object-Oriented Data Model for Geographic Applications 5(3): 221-260." GeoInformatica 5(3): 221-260.
  50. Davis Jr, C. A. and P. A. Oliveira (2002). "Interoperable and distributed GIS for large local governments (in Portuguese) " Informática Pública 4(1): 121-141.
  51. Pereira, G. C. and M. C. F. Rocha (2002). Spatial Data Infrastructure: a Brazilian case. UDMS’02 - 23rd Urban Data Management Symposium, Proceedings. Prague, Czech Republic.
  52. Mattos, A. C. P. (2003). Utilização da Internet para Divulgação de Informações Geográficas no Âmbito do Governo do Estado da Bahia. . Informação Geográfica: Infra-Estrutura e Acesso. G. C. Pereira and M. C. F. Rocha. Salvador (BA), Quarteto/UFBA: 181-187.
  53. Pereira, G. C. and M. C. F. Rocha (2004). Designing a Spatial Data Infrastructure: The Bahia State Case. UDMS’04 – 24th Urban Data Management Symposium. Chioggia, Italy.
  54. Ibid.
  55. Pereira, G. C. and M. C. F. Rocha (2004). Designing a Spatial Data Infrastructure: The Bahia State Case. UDMS’04 – 24th Urban Data Management Symposium. Chioggia, Italy.
  56. Pereira, G. C., C. A. Davis Jr., et al. (2009). Establishing a sub-national SDI in Bahia State (Brazil) – its limits and possibilities. UDMS 2009 -- 27th Urban Data Management Symposium. Ljubljana, Slovenija.
  57. Câmara, G., L. Vinhas, et al. (2009). Geographical Information Engineering in the 21st Century. Research trends in geographic information science. G. Navratil. New York, Springer: 203-218.
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