Future SDI – Impulses from Geoinformatics Research and IT Trends

Laura Díaz, Albert Remke, Tomi Kauppinen, Auriol Degbelo, Theodor Foerster, Christoph Stasch, Matthes Rieke, Bastian Schaeffer, Bastian Baranski, Arne Broering, Andreas Wytzisk


The term Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) was defined in the nineties as a set of policies, technologies and institutional arrangements for improving the availability and accessibility of spatial data and information. SDIs are typically driven by governmental organizations, and thus follow top-down structures based on regulations and agreements. The drawback is that it renders SDIs less easily capable of evolving with new technological trends. While organizations are still struggling to implement SDIs, the World Wide Web is increasingly developing into a Geospatial Web, i.e. one that extensively supports the spatial and temporal aspects of information. This article is our contribution to the discussion on the future technological directions in the field of SDIs. We give a conceptual view of the dynamics of both SDIs and the Geospatial Web. We present a picture of the SDI of the future, one which benefits from these developments, based on an analysis of geoinformatics research topics and current ICT trends. We provide recommendations on how to improve the adaptability and usability of SDIs as to facilitate the assimilation of new ICT developments and to leverage self-reinforcing growth.


SDI, Information Infrastructures, Geoinformatics, Geospatial Web, Linked Data

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