Beyond SDI – Zaffar Mohamed-Ghouse (President SSSI)

The Next Generation Spatial Infrastructure

The next generation Spatial Data Infrastructure will most likely comprise an agile Data Infrastructure, a satellite based Positioning Infrastructure, a Location Index (Loc-I) Framework and Open Spatial Analytics coupled with a United Nations Integrated Geospatial Information Framework implementation plan. An improved Spatial Infrastructure framework will accurately collect, efficiently process, effectively disseminate, and smartly analyse location information in near-real time based on machine-to-machine communications and on-the-fly predictive analytics using Artificial Intelligence.  Globally, the open data agenda and its adoption by many governments has resulted in the availability, both to business and the public, of complex spatial data of varying quality. Comprehensive spatial data is now readily available through government portals. However, the analysis of information provided through these data portals is limited: only simple spatial analysis tools are available through the portals, and end users are often required to perform complex spatial queries in order to resolve a real-world business or an end-user problem. The challenge to provide the means of performing real-time analysis through spatial data portals remains. To facilitate these types of analyses, end users would benefit from a virtual analytic workbench delivered through a widely available web platform. The workbench could host open geoprocessing and analytic tools that users can customise to interact with in order to generate rapid outputs. These analytical tools could be managed through the creative commons licence framework, maintained by the user community. The advent of open source statistical software such as ‘R’, coupled with spatial processes provide a powerful geostatistical analysis platform. Geoscience Australia is working on Location Index (Loc-I) which is a framework that provides a consistent way to seamlessly integrate data about people, business, and the environment. Location Index aims to apply the characteristics of foundation spatial data to multiple geographies. These geographies are essential to support public safety and wellbeing, and are critical for a national or government decision-making. Importantly these capabilities contribute significantly to economic, social and environmental sustainability and link these issues with observational data.

Dr Zaffar Sadiq Mohamed-Ghouse FRGS FSSSI
PRESIDENT, Surveying & Spatial Sciences Institute, Australia

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