Beyond SDI – Bart de Lathouwer (OGC)

Before we talk about “Beyond SDI’s”, let’s recognize what the SDI’s (SDI-Proper, where the objective is to support a wide variety of spatial data themes) have brought us the past 20 years! Albeit the OGC never published a document with SDI (GSDI association provided the key concepts) in the title, OGC’s OWS is in the core of the SDI. reports over 1.7 million distinct spatial GIS datasets hosted on over 210.000 live services. The world relies on these operational SDI’s to make important decisions that affect all of our lives. SDIs are complementary to Location Based Services map providers, e.g, Here, Google, mapbox, OSM and others.  LBS maps focus on mostly roads, buildings, POis and visual imagery at high volume. While SDIs provide spatial data of a wider diversity and lower transaction volume to support a diverse set of users. It is important future spatial data on the web support all of these needs.

Meanwhile, the spatial on the web (SDI-proper) concepts have been ‘picked up’ by the non-geospatial world (mostly on the web) and have brought new requirements: spatial (the S in SDI) is now everywhere. The I (for Infrastructure) in SDI has been provided by the web (well documented in the OGC/W3C Spatial Data on the Web Best Practices). Remains the D: Data is in the focus and everything else is delivered as a service. So in a way location has found its way into all corners of the web and communities of practice – from AI, ML, Edge Computing, decisions paths, semantics, simulation & gaming etc. 

Location has been democratized and no longer requires specialised infrastructure: Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable (FAIR) principles are being achieved using OGC’s standards, e.g., the emerging OGC API’s will be valuable to Beyond SDI.

Using location, OGC connects people, communities, technology and decision making to create a sustainable future. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *