Tuning the second-generation sdi: Theoretical aspects and real use cases

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Spatial data infrastructure (SDI) actors have great expectations for the second-generation SDI currently under development. However, SDIs have many implementation problems at different levels that are delaying the development of the SDI framework. The aims of this article are to identify these difficulties, in the literature and based on our own experience, in order to determine how mature and useful the current SDI phenomena are. We can then determine whether a general reconceptualization is necessary or rather a set of technical improvements and good practices needs to be developed before the second-generation SDI is completed. This study is based on the following aspects: metadata about data and services, data models, data download, data and processing services, data portrayal and symbolization, and mass market aspects. This work aims to find an equilibrium between user-focused geoportals and web service interconnection (the user side vs. the server side). These deep reflections are motivated by a use case in the healthcare area in which we employed the Catalan regional SDI. The use case shows that even one of the best regional SDI implementations can fail to provide the required information and processes even when the required data exist. Several previous studies recognize the value of applying Web 2.0 and user participation approaches but few of these studies provide a real implementation. Another objective of this work is to show that it is easy to complement the classical, international standard-based SDI with a participative Web 2.0 approach. To do so, we present a mash-up portal built on top of the Catalan SDI catalogues. © 2012 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)983-1014
JournalInternational Journal of Geographical Information Science
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012


  • Data access
  • Data portrayal
  • Metadata
  • SDI
  • Standards
  • Web service


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