Beyond SDI – Guo Huadong (CAS-RADI)

Spatial Data Infrastructures (SDIs) provide the technological and organizational structures for managing, sharing, and using spatial data. The next generation of SDIs should be further evolved to be more flexible and robust so as to embrace the ever-accelerating technological transformations to meet the demand of accompanying societal and organizational implications. These require advanced managing and processing capacities, such as developing new standards for collaboration, integrating new technologies, absorbing new data sources, opening up data, and sharing data.

Digital Earth and Big Earth Data can support the development of SDIs. Digital Earth is an integrated scientific platform for combining increasing volumes of geospatial data and various complex analysis models from the global to local scales. While spatial data infrastructures are spreading globally, new sensor networks, computing infrastructures, and advanced services have also been enabled through the interconnection of things that belong to both the physical and virtual worlds. Big Earth Data has highlighted several characteristics including ubiquitous perception,data intelligence, andproblem solving, which aims to produce novel, comprehensive knowledge and insights for the Earth system. Big Earth Data supports science-based decision-making by integrating, interactively analyzing, and visualizing multi-scale, multi-dimension, and multi-disciplinary data.

SDIs, Digital Earth and Big Earth Data should work together to develop an ecosystem. This ecosystem will at least include: a) maximally automated stewardship of data that has been made as open as possible; b) enhanced data semantics and machine understanding through applied terminologies, metadata specifications, and ontology to assist the combination and integration of data across domain boundaries; c) more effective methods of machine-learning, AI, and visualisation techniques for discovery and analysis; and d) blockchain to federate distributed systems and clouds, converging data, algorithms, and computing power for easier problem-solving.

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