Status of National Open Spatial Data Infrastructures: a Comparison Across Continents

A.E. Mulder, M.G. Wiersma, B. van Loenen

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    The increasing need for geospatial information demands for well-organised management among all levels of society. A Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) is a multidisciplinary and dynamic instrument that facilitates access and sharing of geospatial information. The current trend towards open data initiatives is influencing the development of these infrastructures. In order to examine this effect, this article addresses the following question: what is the current state of SDI openness of four best practice open data countries Canada, The Netherlands, Australia and Brazil, and how do they compare? The question is answered through a qualitative literature study and the application of a newly developed Open SDI Assessment Framework to the countries. The Netherlands and Canada show a high performance on all assessment dimensions; data discovery, data access and data properties. Australia and Brazil show a poor open SDI performance, as they could not meet the requirements set for the assessed datasets. General conclusions of the assessment are that data is currently fragmented and scattered among the web in all four countries, which strongly negatively influences the user experience. It is crucial that a strict legal framework is embedded in a country, which ensures that current SDI objectives and propositions regarding an user-centred approach and open data availability are achieved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)56-87
    Number of pages32
    JournalInternational Journal of Spatial Data Infrastructures Research
    Publication statusPublished - 2020


    • open data
    • spatial data infrastructure
    • assessment framework
    • open SDI
    • User-Centric
    • Argentina
    • Australia
    • Canada
    • Netherlands


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