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Spatial Data Infrastructures: Institutional and Policy Aspects. Werner Kuhn from contributions of Max Craglia and Ian Masser. The big picture on SDI’s. Overriding objective of SDI: maximise the use of geographic information assets (mostly national)

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Spatial data infrastructures institutional and policy aspects l.jpg

Spatial Data Infrastructures: Institutional and Policy Aspects

Werner Kuhn

from contributions of

Max Craglia and Ian Masser

SDI Concepcion

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The big picture on SDI’s

  • Overriding objective of SDI:

    maximise the use of geographic information assets (mostly national)

  • This requires some form of coordinated action on the part of government

  • It must be user driven ‘to support decision making at all scales for multiple purposes’

  • It involves a wide range of activities including technical and institutional matters and human resource development (capacity building)

SDI Institutions

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Research on institutional context

  • Diffusion – the SDI phenomenon

  • Typologies

  • Hierarchy

  • Evolution

SDI Institutions

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The SDI phenomenon

  • Some landmarks

    • 1987 Chorley report

    • 1990 FGDC

    • 1993 EUROGI

    • 1994 Clinton Executive Order

    • 1996 GSDI

    • 1996 11 national SDIs

    • 2000 55 national SDIs

    • 2003 120 national SDIs

SDI Institutions

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Geographical spread in 2000

  • Europe - 13

  • Americas - 21

  • Asia and the Pacific - 13

  • Africa - 6

SDI Institutions

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  • National data producer driven

    • Without involvement of users

    • With involvement of users

  • Non data producer driven

    • With formal mandates

    • Without formal mandates

SDI Institutions

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Towards a hierarchy of SDIs

  • Global and regional SDIs

    • Global and regional forums for collaboration and the exchange of ideas and experiences

  • National SDIs

    • Strategic initiatives concerned with the management of national information assets

  • Local SDIs

    • Private, municipal, and provincial initiatives concerned with the operational needs of day to day decision making

SDI Institutions

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SDI Evolution

  • Shift from product to process model

    • From data producers to data users

    • From database creation to data sharing

    • From centralised to decentralised structures

  • Shift from formulation to implementation

    • From coordination to leadership

    • From single to multi level participation

    • From existing to new organisational structures

SDI Institutions

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Other strategic questions

  • How long will it take to create an effective SDI?

  • How much will it cost and who is going to pay for it?

  • What is the connection between SDIs and eGovernment?

  • What cultural barriers must be overcome during SDI implementation?

SDI Institutions

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How long will it take?

  • A long term rather than a short term task

  • An exercise in capacity building and organisational cultural change

  • An evolving process: major changes likely over time

  • Dependent on the national institutional context

SDI Institutions

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How much will it cost?

  • Vary considerably from country to country

    • Relatively self financing in Australia because of close links between mapping and cadastral activities at the state level

    • Shared costs model in the Netherlands

  • Costs of coordination and metadata services relatively small by comparison with core database creation

SDI Institutions

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What is the connection between SDIs and eGovernment?

  • SDIs an important component of eGovernment

  • Economic potential of public sector information increasingly recognised

  • Geographic information policy increasingly part of national and international information policy - eg EU Public Sector Information Directive

SDI Institutions

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What cultural barriers must be overcome?

  • Data producers

    • Shift from natural monopolies to competitive markets likely to require regulation

  • Information users

    • Data sharing requires organisations operating collectively with others at both the horizontal and vertical levels

SDI Institutions

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A closer look at Europe: INSPIRE

SDI Concepcion

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  • 1999 Green paper on “Public Sector Information: a Key Resource for Europe”

  • Increased Access identified as crucial

  • GI valuable and large component of PSI

  • Significant response from GI sector: polarised views between those wishing strong regulation, and those wishing none at all.

  • Further consultation 2001

  • Directive 2003

SDI Institutions

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Key Principles

  • Does not impose terms of access to PSI, which are left to member states

  • If information is accessible, then it sets out principles to ensure:

    • Competition

    • Transparency

    • Non-discrimination

    • Fair trading

    • Facility of re-use

SDI Institutions

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Significant policy shift in the 90s

  • From sectoral to integrated approach

    • Increased complexity

    • Policy interaction (including cumulative impacts)

    • Environmental aspects integrated in sectoral policies, …

  • Increasing needs for harmonisation and/or co-ordination (data/systems/approaches/… )

    • Natural disasters (eg flooding)

    • Transports

    • Other trans-boundaries (eg WFD-River Basin Mgt., ),

  • Increasing attention to EU citizens/individuals

    • From top down approach to green papers (consensus based)

    • Increasing transparency

    • Europe on line, e-Government, PSI, Arhus convention (environment) ….

SDI Institutions

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Increasing demand for better GI

  • Quality

  • Certification

  • Authority

  • Consistency

  • Updating

  • Harmonisation

    • Cross border

  • Interoperability

    • reference systems, semantics, pricing, ...

SDI Institutions

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Data requirements

  • EU-wide data not available for a given administrative level

    • but data might exist locally

  • Some policies span geographically across borders

    • new data collection efforts

      • E.g new river basin districts

  • Units of analysis could require new data and methods for its characterization

    • Eg use of landscape as a geographical entity.

SDI Institutions

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How to address data limitations?

  • more decentralized approach to data management

    • leaving the data at the level at which it can be more easily collected and updated

    • attempt to integrate more cohesively information flows from local to global and vice-versa

    • access to data becomes a pre-requisite

  • INSPIRE - Infrastructure for Spatial Information in Europe

SDI Institutions

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  • launched in 2001 by DG Environment, Eurostat, JRC

  • aims at making available relevant, harmonised and quality geographic information for the purpose of formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of Community policy-making

  • needs common reference data and metadata, architecture and standards, legal aspects and data policy, funding and implementation structures

SDI Institutions

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(Original) Key INSPIRE requirements in 2 Slides


  • Data harmonisation:

    • Require MS to contribute to generic data specifications for adoption by the INSPIRE committee

    • Once adopted, require MS to use these specs for new data or updates. MS expected to also put in place on top of existing data automatic services transforming existing data according to specifications

  • Metadata: require MS to produce metadata for all public electronic spatial datasets that fall under INSPIRE (17 themes, 60 data components)

    • progressive implementation: first discovery metadata then more extended metadata as harmonisation of data proceeds

SDI Institutions

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(Original) Key INSPIRE requirements in 2 Slides


  • Data policy framework

    • require MS to establish sharing framework between public bodies free of barriers at the point of use

    • free view of data to all

    • require MS to establish licensing framework for broader use

  • Implementation

    • Require MS to develop and implement discover, view, access, trade services to common standards adopted by the INSPIRE committee

  • Co-ordination and Implementation

  • Require MS to appoint or establish appropriate coordinating structures

SDI Institutions

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INSPIRE Timeline

  • Started in 2001

  • Position papers in 2002

  • Extended Impact Assessment (XIA) in 2003

  • Revision of scope and XIA in 2004

  • Adoption in 2004

  • INSPIRE Committee 2006

  • Entry in force 2008

  • Metadata and harmonization: 2009-2012

SDI Institutions

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Why an Impact Assessment?

  • Required for all new major policy initiatives of EU

  • IA is more than just cost benefit analysis (CBA),

  • In the field of GIS and SDIs, cost benefit analysis is notoriously difficult, and there are very few good examples

  • Similarly very few assessments of SDIs, before and after implementation

SDI Institutions

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A process view

  • In CBA it is easier to estimate costs than benefits that are often intangible and long term

  • Regard Impact Assessment as a process that starts now and is monitored in future

  • Transparency of method and assumptions is crucial so that they can be revised at a later stage

  • A rigorous process of impact measurement as INSPIRE gets implemented

  • Focus on incremental impacts of INSPIRE, i.e. what costs and benefits over and above what would otherwise happen anyway

SDI Institutions

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Assumptions (among many)

  • INSPIRE is about public sector data

  • The private sector will not be negatively affected by INSPIRE technical or policy measures

  • Therefore, the private sector, research, and citizens will benefit from INSPIRE with no significant additional costs.

SDI Institutions

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On local communities

  • There are 90,000+ local communities and authorities in Europe, most of which are VERY small

  • Assumed that INSPIRE in the first place will be implemented by cities larger than 100k inh. + local-medium level authorities rather than all the very small ones

  • Hence measuring impacts over 1700 potential units (1 every 250-300k inhabitants)

SDI Institutions

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On harmonisation

  • Evolutionary process over 10 year period in cycles of 18 months each delivering early results

  • Starting with objects of most frequent use first and refining later

  • INSPIRE about generic specs because detailed applications fall under other legislation (e.g. WFD)

SDI Institutions

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On metadata

  • At national level most data of relevance held by mapping, cadastral, geology and environmental agencies

  • Assumed 2-3 people full time for each organization for 1 year to update metadata based on INSPIRE profile= 250-300 people = € 25-30 m

  • At local level 1700 X 2FTE= 340m + 10% p.a over 10 years because need to build capacity to document resources

SDI Institutions

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  • Possibly THE most Important aspect of INSPIRE

  • NSDI in the US done a good job but failed to involve local communities

  • Big cost factor

SDI Institutions

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Coordination Costs

  • Include coordination, portals, and processes

  • European : 30 people = 3m

  • National: 2-3 small countries up to 10 big ones = 20m

  • Local: 0.5-1 FTE X 1700 units= 100-170m

SDI Institutions

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Summary costs/investment (€ m. p.a.)

SDI Institutions

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And the benefits??

  • Always the most difficult to quantify

  • if we can justify the benefits in the environmental sector, all other sectors will add at no extra cost

  • Some benefits are reasonably clear, others have greater degree of uncertainty

SDI Institutions

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An example: EIA

  • Survey of organisations (public and private) undertaking EIA and SEA across Europe

  • Some 20,000 undertaken every year

  • Average cost is € 75,000

  • 5% of cost and 8-10% of time is finding the data needed


SDI Institutions

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Another example: Environmental monitoring and assessment

  • Cost of monitoring the environment in England and Wales is approximately €160m per annum

  • Most EU countries undertake similar functions although the organisational arrangements are different (centralised federated, decentralised)

  • The approximate cost across EU(15) is €1bn.

  • Estimates of greater efficiency from well organised metadata, harmonised data, and improved data management can add up to 10% of total cost = € 100m per annum


SDI Institutions

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Natural Hazards in EU

$ 80-100 bn over 20 years, 5000 killed, 12m people affected

SDI Institutions

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Costs of Hazards

  • Floods in 2002 = € 15 bn in Germany, € 2bn in Austria, € 2-3 bn in Czech R. and some € 35m in Slovakia.

  • IF GMES and INSPIRE had been in place:

    • Impact scenarios easier = mitigation measures

    • Better readiness of civil protection= more efficient response

    • Reduced cost of reconstruction as precautionary principles can be reduced if scenarios clearer.

  • IF 5-10% could be saved = € 100-300m p.a.

SDI Institutions

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Summary benefits (€ m. p.a.)

  • EIA-SEA = 100-200

  • Environmental monitoring and assessment = 100

  • More cost-effective Environmental Protection = 300

  • More efficient reporting of EU environ. Directives = 300

  • EC project saving and coordination = 5-15

  • Duplication data collection = 25-250

  • Improved delivery risk prevention = 100-300

  • Improved delivery health & environment policies = 350

  • Conservative overall estimate € 1.2-1.8 bn p.a.

  • SDI Institutions

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    Revision of scope and costs

    • Reduced ambition. Focus on common reference data + commonly used thematic data

    • Annex 1 full harmonization (approx 1/3)

    • Annex 2 only general level harmonization (1/3)

    SDI Institutions

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    Annex 1: Basic data

    • Administrative units

    • Transport networks

    • Hydrography including water catchments

    • Elevation (including terrestrial elevation, bathymetry and coastline)

    • Protected sites

    • Land cover

    • Cadastral parcels

    • Ortho-imagery

    • Coordinate reference systems

    • Geographical names

    • Geographical grid systems

    • Addresses including postal regions

    SDI Institutions

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    Level of harmonization of Annex 1

    SDI Institutions

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    Annex 2

    SDI Institutions

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    Level of harmonization of Annex 2

    • Data should be consistent:

      • Geometrically

        • Geo-referencing to allow consistent overlay of data

      • Semantically

        • Definition of spatial objects

    SDI Institutions

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    Revised XIA

    • Investment costs reduced by 50% to € 100-130 m per year for EU25 (still 80% at local/regional level)

    • Benefits reduced by some 30% to € 770-1150m p.a.

    • Still worth doing!

    SDI Institutions

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    Lessons learned: limitations

    • Lack of research and hence evidence of cost-benefits of SDIs with few exceptions,

    • Limited value provided by the impact matrices, which often did not go beyond the expert’s “mas o menos”

    • Limited value of case-studies in providing quantitative assessments of costs and benefits

    • Very lengthy process to turn the broad principles of INSPIRE into measurable activities

    • Lack of adequate time and resources to put in place a structured process for the identification of costs and benefits once the measurable activities had been agreed upon.

    SDI Institutions

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    Benefits of XIA

    • Helped clarify what exactly is involved in INSPIRE. From principles to measurable activities

    • Allowed reasonable estimation of costs

    • Benefits more difficult but used knowledge of national experts

    • Appropriate to focus on environmental sector

    • Survey of EIA and SEA excellent

    • Transparency of assumptions allows rapid revision

    SDI Institutions

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    Research issues

    • Most countries are implementing at least some component of an SDI

    • yet there does not seem to be a coordinated and structured effort to measure the benefits of SDI.

    • Need for detailed case-studies following a longitudinal process, with agreed formats for international comparability

    SDI Institutions

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    Clusters and regional innovation

    • A large body of literature on regional economics

    • Many of the essential determinants of the economic performance of a nation reside at the regional level (Porter 2003)

    • Institutions play a significant role in promoting innovation in regions

    • Clusters are main mechanisms for fostering innovation and competitiveness, particularly among SMEs.

    • Clusters are geographic concentrations of related industries linked by externalities such as pooled labour, and knowledge spillovers

    SDI Institutions

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    Research Issues 2

    • Research on clusters focuses on traditional industrial economy. Are clusters relevant to the e-economy?

    • How do we define the e-economy?

    • What is the nature of the emerging value chains in the e-economy?

    • What is their geographical footprint?

    • Does clustering occur and does it matter?

    SDI Institutions

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    Research Issues 3

    • What are the levers available to (regional) governments to facilitate innovation and competitiveness of their economy in the e-society?

    • What role for regional SDIs as mechanisms for innovation and growth?

    SDI Institutions

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    • Addressing the issues above requires a multi-national and multi-disciplinary research effort built around common methodologies

    • need to ground the e-economy and SDI hype in measurable economic and social progress, and develop the evidence necessary to convince politicians, the markets, and society at large of the value of SDIs.

    SDI Institutions

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