Governments rely on a national spatial data infrastructure to manage assets, centralize data, and evaluate patterns and trends to make informed and smarter policy decisions. Local governments are also beginning to use it more interactively to engage with citizens, creating accessible dialogue between individuals and the state. Having a coordinated GIS infrastructure brings effectiveness and operational efficiency, and for developing countries it can offer a sophisticated means of alleviating some of their pervasive geographical challenges. GPC works with several governments around the world to develop and implement spatial data infrastructures.
Abu Dhabi SDI – Stages 1, 2 and 3
The AD-SDI Program was initially conceived as a staged implementation starting with a foundation (stage 1), moving into institutionalizing and strengthening (stage 2) and finally into ongoing monitoring, assessment and adaptive management (stage 3). The foundation stage, which was a six-month fast track, was successfully completed between June and December, 2007. It established the basic foundation elements of the AD-SDI including refinement of the previous stakeholder situation assessment regarding GIS development in all the key agencies, development of an AD-SDI Strategic Plan that delineates data, technical and institutional target states, and alignment of existing major data development projects. It established also a Geospatial Portal and Data Clearinghouse, populated the Clearinghouse with representative data from all the participating agencies, leveraged existing data for visible results, established representative Technical Committee to participate in and guide the AD-SDI development process, and ensured that capacity building programs are in place for all participating agencies that need to be responsible custodians and users of the AD-SDI. The first stage culminated in the development and distribution of an AD-SDI Program Design, Implementation Plan, and an Operations Plan for the Spatial Data Center (SDC).
The second stage of AD-SDI started formally on April 14, 2008 and was completed by March 2010. Stage 2 involved the expansion, refinement, and institutionalizing of the AD-SDI infrastructure foundations established in Stage 1, including the addition of data and metadata, coordinating with selected agencies to develop their own Geospatial nodes, monitoring data and capacity building projects, continuing to provide analyst support to the Executive Council and others, deploying the latest technology based AD-SDI Geospatial Portal 2.1, and adding integration and spatially enabled applications to the e-Government portal and government agency websites where appropriate. During this stage, the AD-SDI project team supported the initial operations of the AD-SDI Spatial Data Centre (SDC) and assisted ADSIC in carrying out a capacity building program for permanent staff that will ultimately take over the operations and administration of the AD-SDI program.
The third stage of AD-SDI started formally on March 2010. Stage 3 targets the evolution of the AD-SDI program into adaptive management, monitoring and continuous innovation. This period will focus on strengthening the AD-SDI foundation by: expanding the stakeholder community (currently more than 50 entities); completing the formalization of data sharing arrangements; aligning and tracking all major data projects and initiating any additional projects needed to fill remaining gaps; continuing the development and enforcement of standards and interoperability best practices with the community; leveraging AD-SDI data and infrastructure to support wide range of high value, high impact services and products; and institutionalizing the data maintenance and expansion of the Data Clearinghouse to include all fundamental data layers that are needed in common by the stakeholder community; and work toward the data flow automation between the individual nodes and the central AD-SDI nodes where necessary.