Geospatial data infrastructure: international experience


The regional geographic information system is spatial data infrastructure the purposes of which are:

  • systematization, integration and information access;
  • effective information exchange between data holders and consumers;
  • departmental information barriers minimization and elimination;
  • exception of spatial data collecting duplication and their effective use.

If in Russia several regions just join the process of geospatial systems creation then abroad similar projects have been created since 1990s.  

For example, the Canadian infrastructure of geospatial data (CGDI — Canadian Geospatial Data Infrastructure) was found in 1996. It was created at the initiative of Interdepartmental committee on of geomatics and the Canadian council of geomatics. The main support and coordination program of works on CGDI is the GeoConnections program which is a part of the G2C and G2G models. Actually it is one of instruments of the “Electronic Government” program implementation.

In the USA national spatial data infrastructure was created in 2000. In addition to the "National Card" and "National Atlas" programs, national information exchange centers network (clearing centers), it includes also the GOS geoportal (Geospatial One-Stop) as parts of the "Electronic administration" (E-Government) presidential program.

In Great Britain spatial data infrastructure was found in 1995. Its main part is made of OS MasterMap system. It is possible to distinguish four layers of basic spatial data from its digital products: topographical objects, addresses register, integrated transport network and high resolution orthoimages. An important feature is that the system of Great Britain unites the industry of spatial data with electronic commerce tools.

In Sweden the topographic and cartographical and Lantmateriet land and cadastral service of Sweden (National Land Survey, NLS) is engaged in creation of basic spatial data and spatial data production coordination. A distinctive feature of Sweden system is the key role of municipalities regarding spatial data updating, and also orders placement of spatial data production among business partners.

GIS-systems as the G2G and G2C tools models are of great importance not only within one country, but also at the world level. An example of such interaction is the INSPIRE program of the European Union on creation of the European spatial data infrastructure. Council of national topographic and cartographic and cadastral services EuroGeographics is engaged in association and harmonization of spatial data resources. Its projects include seamless sets of political and administrative borders of the European Union (SABE) and highways network (EuroRoadS), multilingual databank of places names (EuroGeoNames) and others.

In countries of Asia and the Pacific region integration is carried out within Standing committee on GIS-infrastructure of Asia-Pacific countries (PCGIAP), PCIDEA committee of the Latin American countries, the PROCIG project of the Central American countries. This group included also the countries of Africa.

In addition, the world organization — of Global spatial data infrastructure Association (GSDI) operates. Its main objective is recommendations development about spatial infrastructure development of these developing countries and the countries with transitional type economy by means of the developed countries analysis and synthesis experience.

The question of spatial data infrastructure is also very relevant for Russia as, according to the UN data, more than 80% of information ordinary citizens, government and commercial structures face have a territorial binding. Recently GISes were unusual for the country, however spatial data bases, geoservices of different subjects are being actively created. At the same time there is a problem of operating functionality of such systems: not always GIS allows to find the required information, and it is still necessary to work at this question.