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Beyond Spatial Data Infrastructures

EUROGI has invited a number of geospatial thought leaders to provide a statement on ‘Beyond SDI’, with the below quoted paragraphs as stimuli.  The position statements received are herewith published by EUROGI as starters for online discussion threads and will lead to a perspectives document to be discussed at the EUROGI session at the Geospatial World Forum conference in Amsterdam on 8 April 2020 – https://geospatialworldforum.org/.

The past decades have witnessed the conceptualization and implementation of Spatial Data Infrastructures (SDIs) as a foundation for organizing and leveraging geospatial data and technologies across application domains. Collaborative efforts in standardization (OGC, ISO), policy making (INSPIRE, Open Data), technology development and education have made the idea of SDI a reality, although of course much still needs to be done in many cases.

Recent technological and other forms of progress are pushing the limits of SDI as we know it: ubiquitous access to real-time data streams, vast amounts of geospatial data being generated continuously (satellite imagery and motor vehicle sensors are just two examples), semantic-driven ‘live’ analyses and monitoring, cloud environments, new emerging geoanalytical methods (eg machine learning/AI) and processes, the emerging dominance of large companies in the geospatial field, etc. – all these and many more were not part of the original data-centric concept of SDIs. So, where do we go from here?

We at EUROGI would appreciate it if you could share your personal thoughts, visions and concerns on the idea ‘Beyond SDIs’ (is there a need for a new paradigm?; what might be the key features of such a new paradigm?; how to build on the current SDI model?; what could/should be the process for moving towards a next generation geospatial infrastructure?; etc) in a 250 word or more statement.  

  • Please add your general comments on “Beyond Spatial Data Infrastructures” in response to this post right below, and your reactions to individual statements within the respective contexts.