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Spatial Data Infrastructures

The essential components of a Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) are geospatial information that is accessible in a networked environment, metadata resources that support finding and using those data products, and services that facilitate access to the data for applications that make use of the infrastructure. The main guiding principles of an SDI are the maintenance of the data resources in a distributed environment and access to resources directly from the provider’s data store, wide use of the data resources based on commonly agreed standardised methods, and routine data integration and reuse. The core of an SDI is that the spatial data content has clear data specifications, a well-understood quality and full coverage of its domain. The basis for any spatial content is formed by the common coordinate reference systems.

Developing the SDI further includes even more sophisticated processing services, real-time sensor networks for monitoring environmental conditions, and advanced services for visualising spatial data. The increased use of different mobile devices when accessing the SDI services introduces new requirements, for instance when it comes to developing multichannel visualisation methods. Spatial analysis carried out in a network service environment opens up opportunities for developing new kinds of end-user applications. Ontology-based methods are being developed for managing the semantics of the spatial data.

Areas of interest for FGI include the visualisation and usability of spatial data, network-based processing services, ontology, data harmonisation and standardisation.