Spatial Data Infrastructure, Coordination, and Access Policy Research


Going to stray a little academic here, a couple of articles of possible interest relating to spatial data infrastructures (SDI), cross-agency coordination, and data access policies:

Note: IJGIS is not an open access journal (to access, must have a subscription)… or you could try contacting author to get a copy.

Developing geographic information infrastructures: the role of access policies
Author: B. van Loenen
International Journal of Geographical Information Science
Within societies, information availability is a key issue affecting society’s well-being. For geographic information, a geographic information infrastructure (GII) facilitates availability and access to geographic information for all levels of government, the commercial sector, the non-profit sector, academia, and ordinary citizens. Although the importance of access policies in the development of a GII is commonly understood, research that has assessed the impact of access policies on this development is scant. This article adds this perspective. Based on information acquired from case-study and literature research, the author argues that open-access policies do not always promote GII development and in specific instances are counter-productive. These findings may explain why many nations still adhere to cost-recovery policies instead of following access policies recommended by research. The article provides alternatives for changing current policies into new access policies that promote GII development.
Keywords: Geographic information infrastructure; SDI; Access policy; Development

Cross-agency coordination in the shadow of hierarchy: ‘joining up’ government geospatial information systems
Authors: K. T. Lance; Y. Georgiadou; A. K. Bregt
International Journal of Geographical Information Science
Government agencies striving to make geospatial information systems interoperable and cost-effective often appear to function as a self-regulating network shaped only by internal trust and reciprocity. However, recent public management research suggests that external steering of a network, exercised by authoritative bodies through hierarchical means, may invigorate cross-agency coordination. The two case studies of federal geospatial coordination in Canada and the USA confirm this emerging theory of network-hierarchy dynamics. In these countries, the central budget agency (CBA) is influencing resource flows and accountabilities within a federal geospatial network of government agencies, which in turn affects how these agencies deliver ‘joined up’ services. The CBA relies upon three types of tools: the shaping of network governing structures, promotion of uptake of new management information systems, and the use of evaluation (scrutiny) to solidify  accountabilities of the network. Since these tools cast a shadow of hierarchy upon the network, they may be viewed as counter to the voluntary ethos of networks. However, the case studies suggest that the CBA’s actions appear to confer legitimacy to the network, resulting in a seeming contradiction greater central control, more vigorous, distributed geospatial coordination.
Keywords: Cross-agency coordination; SDI implementation; Joined-up government; Metagovernance


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