Spatial Data Infrastructure and Public Sector Innovation (2007-2010)
The strategic and generic character of the proposed research
project is situated in its research object as well as in its method.
The research object of the project is the relation between a spatial
data infrastructure and public sector innovation. As information is the
basic resource of governments to fulfil its tasks in a complex society,
databases become the backbone of public administrations. Three major datasets
have to contain data on citizens, on companies and organisations as well
as on geographic information. In this project the focus is on geographic
information. A lot of information in the public sector has a geographic
component, so the large-scale roll-out of a spatial data infrastructure
will be of great strategic importance in itself and to the further development
and innovation of public administration practices.
Administrative practices may and will be affected by the increasing use
of geographic information. Tasks, functions and responsibilities will
be re-allocated and new forms of responsiveness and accountability will
emerge within and between different levels of government as well as in
the interfaces with the private sector, the not-for-profit sector and
The method of the project supports a generic approach of SDI-development.
First, the project looks at SDI-development from an interdisciplinary
perspective. A combination of public administration, sociology, law, economics
and geomatics has to guarantee a comprehensive view on the development
of an SDI. Second, the development of an SDI is looked upon in all its
phases. Starting with the (1) acquisition of needed resources, over the
(2) processing of resources to the (3) utilisation of an SDI. In this
way, each phase will be studied and analysed from an interdisciplinary
perspective, but also in a static, comparative static and sometimes even
The central research question of the project is the following:
What are the technical, legal, economic, sociological and public administrative
requirements to develop an operational Flemish Spatial Data Infrastructure,
consistent with international standards that is efficient, effective,
flexible and feasible?