Introduction to Spatial Data Infrastructures

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					Introduction to
Spatial Data Infrastructures

Werner Kuhn

March 14, 2005   SDI Concepcion

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    Motivation for the course topic through
         • an analogy
         • a case study
    Sketch basic ideas of SDI
    Course plan
         • Lectures
         • Readings
         • Practicals

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An analogy: Cooking

    Discuss the infrastructure for preparing food
         • What do you need?
         • Where do you get it?
         • Where does it come from?
         • Who is involved in the „food chain“?
         • Can you cook at a friend‘s home?

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Elements of the cooking infrastructure

    Food: contents
    Kitchen ware, stove etc.: technology
    Cooks, waiters, diners, farmers etc.: people

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    Modularity: lots of components
    Flexibility: change ingredients, delivery
     mode and time, etc.
    Openness: add elements (e.g., a
     microwave), change food suppliers, etc.
    Standards: packaging, stores, stoves, etc.

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Compare with Maps

    „cooking“ a map (old style)
         • What do you need?
         • Where do you get it?
         • Where does it come from?
         • Who is involved in the „food chain“?
         • Can you „cook“ at a friend‘s home or office?

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              GIS Specialists

                                             Maps for Users

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               Services for systems and users,
               built by Geo- and GI-Scientists

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Business Opportunities

   1. More potato sales
         •    customers: cooks (i.e., service providers)
         •    small margins
         •    improved content information (metadata)
   2. More restaurants
         •    customers: those who can afford it
         •    big margins
         •    some economies of scale
         •    multiplier for potato sales
   3. Develop mass products/services (chips)
         •    customers: everybody
         •    huge margins
         •    huge economies of scale
         •    life line for potato growers

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Business requirements

       Sales result from uses
       Uses occur through services
       Services support decisions by content integration
       Content integration occurs in services

   => It is all about services, not about data!

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The wrong analogy ?

    Multiple sales of products and services
         but: multiple sales of data are rare
    Complexity of our „potatoes“
         but: still need simple products and services
    What has all this to do with SDI?
         • Market for Geographic Information (GI) requires
         • Mass use of GI products is likely

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Other useful analogies

    Infrastructures for
         • Transportation
         • Telecommunication
         • Electricity
         • Education
         • ....
    All of these have something to teach us

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So, what is an SDI ?

    No official and general definition yet
    My own attempt:
         An SDI is a coordinated series of agreements on technology
          standards, institutional arrangements, and policies that
          enable the discovery and use of geospatial information by
          users and for purposes other than those it was created for.
    Identifying the stake-holders and the subjects of
     agreements is the key step
    OGC has created the model for the necessary
     consensus process.

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Core ideas

       Distribution
       Coordination
       Sharing
       Interoperability
       Interfaces
       Standards
       Architecture
       Metadata
       Policies

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Scopes of SDI

       Local
       National
       Regional
       Global
       Sectoral

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GSDI = Global SDI

    critical to substantial and sustainable development
    involvement and support of decision makers at the
     highest levels of business, government and
     academia (G7 countries, UN Institutions, World
     Bank etc.)
    requires education and research activities which
     transcend the purely technical treatment of spatial
    So far: conferences and other publications

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Why this change from GIS to SDI ?

       Non-usability of GIS
       Market growth for GI(S) industry
       E-Government initiatives at all levels
       Economic pressure to recover investments

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    The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC)
    ISO TC 211
    High-level government initiatives
    Regional initiatives (US NSDI, NRW, Emilia
     Romagna, Galicia, ...)
    In Europe: INSPIRE

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What has changed from old-style GIS ?

       Multi-vendor architectures
       Multi-source data
       Multi-user applications
       Multi-organization projects
       Diminished control over information use

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    One stop shops
         • (includes international data)
         • (beta version)
    Integration with GIS
         • access data and services from your GIS
         • based on OGC web service specifications
         • e.g.,

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    Lots of data (somewhere)
         • rarely connected to infrastructure
         • spotty regional coverage
         • thematic variety, without ontology
    Few services
         • single, isolated functionality
         • often tied to a database
    Lack of business models
         • free vs paid
         • per use vs licensing
         • commercial uncertainty paralyzes markets

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Reference Data

    Idea: spatial data provide a common reference
     frame for domain information
         • examples: administrative boundaries, roads
    But:
         • which spatial entities should be used as reference?
              no theory
              practice: see INSPIRE catalog
         • need to be well-defined and widely (maybe freely)

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The Growing Role of Services

    Bottled functionality
    (Mass) uses occur through services
    Services integrate content for decisions

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Background: Data Abstraction

    Data with associated methods define modules
              Parnas, D. L. (1972). "On the Criteria to be used in
              Decomposing Systems into Modules." ACM Communications
              15(12): 1053-1058.
    Interfaces in object-orientation
    SCOTS in OGC

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SDI, a misnomer

    The goal is not „data exchange“, but
     sharing of information
    Sometimes SDI are also called Geospatial
     Information Infrastructures (GII)
    But SDI has stuck (NSDI, GSDI etc.)

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An SDI Case Study

       German state of North-Rhine Westphalia
       18 Mio inhabitants
       Highly industrial
       Several small IT companies in the GI area
       Very heterogeneous GI production

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Success factors

    Politicians wanted a show-off project in the
     media business
    State funding 1999 to 2002
    Very active PPP
    Life-critical co-opetition between small IT

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   GDI Reference model

                              User model

                                                      Business model

                             Process model


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User model

    Requirements for GI from user perspective
    Specification based on market study
    Results: Priorities for action
         • B2B
         • focus on
              Trade, banks, insurances
         • Involve more stake holders (e.g. Municipalities)

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Business model

    Specification of value chains
    Specification of GI products and services
    Neutral coordinating organisation
         • Coordinates implementation projects
         • Maintains local standards
         • marketing of infrastructure

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Process model

    Describes technical processes
    Links other models
    Focus on
         • Publishing GI services
         • Discover GI products and services
         • Purchase
         • Assemble GI products on the fly

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Architecture model

    Specification of a Service Architecture
    In close cooperation with Special Interest
     Groups (SIGs)
    Based on Web Services:
         •    Mapping Service
         •    Catalog Service
         •    Data Access Services
         •    e-Commerce Services
    Results
         • proof-of-concept through GDI Testbeds
            (see separate slides)
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Goals of this SDI Course

   1. Familiarize yourself with the basic ideas
      and terminology around SDI
   2. Awareness of some SDI initiatives and of
      some key literature
   3. Develop skills for project planning and
      proposal writing

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Course idea

    Three topical blocks
         • Technology
         • Semantics
         • People (institutions, policies)
    Each introduced by a lecture
    Followed by individual readings

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Course Program

       Monday, March 14
         •    Introduction
         •    Goals and Schedule
         •    Collect materials
         •    Organize groups
         •    Skim Cookbook and read Chapters 1-2
       Tuesday, March 15
         • Lecture on Technology
         • Read Cookbook Chapters 5-7
         • Brainstorm in groups on possible project goals
       Wednesday, March 16
         • Technology discussion (based on readings so far)
         • Read Cookbook Chapters 3-4
         • Write „one pager“ on proposal: problem-approach-results
       Thursday, March 17
         • Lecture on Semantics
         • Read Geospatial Semantics paper (first part)
         • Write abstract and state of the art for proposal

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Course Program (cont‘d)

       Friday, March 18
         • Semantics discussion (based on reading)
         • Read Geospatial Semantics paper (rest)
         • Draft work plan for proposal
       Monday, March 21
         • Lecture on institutional and policy arrangements
         • Read Onsrud et al. chapter
         • Finish work plan for proposal (with deliverables)
       Tuesday, March 22
         • Discussion of Onsrud et al. chapter
         • Write time schedule and budget for proposal
         • Prepare proposal presentation
       Wednesday, March 23
         • Review of SDI topic
         • Present proposal

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    SDI need to be implemented to really understand
     the problems
    Time needed: approximately 3-5 years for around
     30-50 technical experts...
    for a short course like this:
         • there are no „toy SDI“
         • lab exercises with web servers often fail
         • Alternative: identify research needs and work program
         • Combine with soft skills of proposal writing and presenting

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Your task in this course

       write a proposal sketch
       for research or development project
       on a local or regional SDI
       in groups of 4 participants
         • Manager: organizes, presents, writes abstract
         • Engineer: architecture, technical specifications
         • Scientist: research questions, literature
         • „Moneyman“: budget, funding sources
    today: form groups and assign roles

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    To read and discuss during the course:
         • Nebert (Ed.): The GSDI Cookbook
           (excerpts – today: skim and read Chapters 1-2)
         • Kuhn: Geospatial Semantics – why, of what, how?
         • Onsrud et al.: The Future of the Spatial Information
    Additional resources throughout the course

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