Beyond SDI – Joep Crompvoets (KU Leuven)
Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) is about the concept to facilitate and govern the exchange and sharing of geospatial data between stakeholders in the data community. We see trends that geospatial data become more mainstream data and SDI-stakeholders are no longer from the geospatial data community only. This means that SDIs will likely be integrated into more generic information infrastructures that facilitate a much wider range of data and services from numerous stakeholders from inside and outside the public sector. If these information infrastructures are well governed, then they have the capacity to be the foundation for our digital society and strongly contribute to the achievement of public values such as more openness, transparency, participation, accountability and higher performance. However, good governance of these information infrastructures will be an enormous challenge as strong agreements/arrangements have to be made among numerous stakeholders. In this context governance is considered to be the process of creating ‘appropriate’ routines that become habitualized or internalized as legitimate behavior, and the associated arrangements provide structural and managerial instruments that relevant stakeholders can use to facilitate this (policy) process within and/or between organizations or individuals. These formal and informal instruments aim to enhance, frame or regulate the voluntary or forced alignments of tasks and efforts of key parties and are used to create greater coherence and to reduce redundancy, lacunae and contradictions with and between policies, implementation or management. Therefore, the development of a well-balanced governance mechanism will be vital for the information infrastructures of the future.