Spatial Data Infrastructures at Work

Spatial Data Infrastructures at Work: Analysing the Spatial Enablement of Public Sector Processes

Ezra Dessers
Copyright Date: 2013
Published by: Leuven University Press
Pages: 256
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt9qf068
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  • Book Info
    Spatial Data Infrastructures at Work
    Book Description:

    In 'Spatial Data Infrastructures at Work', Ezra Dessers introduces spatial enablement as a key concept to describe the realisation of SDI objectives in the context of individual public sector processes. Drawing on four years of research, Dessers argues that it has become essential, even unavoidable, to manage and (re)design inter-organisational process chains in order to further advance the role of SDIs as an enabling platform for a spatially enabled society. Detailed case studies illustrate that the process he describes is the setting in which one can see the SDI at work.

    eISBN: 978-94-6166-081-7
    Subjects: Geography

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. 1-4)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. 5-8)
  3. List of Figures
    (pp. 9-9)
  4. List of Tables
    (pp. 10-10)
  5. Foreword
    (pp. 11-12)
    Ian Masser

    The quantity and quality of scholarly research on Geographic Information Systems (GIS) has developed massively over the last twenty years. This has been particularly the case with respect to the development of Spatial Data Infrastructures (SDI). As the emphasis in this field has shifted from their design and conceptualisation to their implementation the demand for such research has grown exponentially.

    An increasingly important component of this research relates to the institutional and organisational frameworks that surround SDIs. A key feature of this research is the extent to which it draws upon work carried out by scholars in other academic disciplines....

  6. Acknowledgements
    (pp. 13-14)
    Ezra Dessers
  7. General introduction
    (pp. 15-20)

    Spatial data (also referred to asgeospatial,geographicorlocation-baseddata) are data that relate to a location on the Earth (Rajabifard et al., 2003a, p.14). Spatial data have always been crucial for governments. From local communities to countries and beyond, governments need information on issues as land ownership, road infrastructure, land use, population registration, economic activities and military assets. Most information in the public sector can, in one way or the other, be linked to a location (Longhorn and Blakemore, 2008). It has been estimated that over 80% of governmental data has a locational basis (Williamson et al., 2003)....

  8. Part 1 Research framework
    • Introduction
      (pp. 23-24)

      This first part of the book describes the research framework, and is divided in three chapters.

      Chapter 1 sets the scene, by presenting a social system theory based view on spatial data infrastructures. The chapter states that the concept of SDI as a regulatory infrastructure encompasses two different classes of objectives, functional and adoption, as well as three classes of components, organisational structures, HR systems and technological resources.

      Chapter 2 argues that the connection between the functional and adoption objectives of an SDI often is realised in the context of processes within and between organisations. Furthermore, the chapter substantiates that...

    • Chapter 1 Setting the scene: Spatial Data Infrastructures
      (pp. 25-34)

      The concept of spatial data infrastructures (SDI) refers to the infrastructure, or basic physical and organisational structures, needed to facilitate efficient and effective use of spatial data (Rajabifard et al., 2006; Hjelmager et al., 2008). The realisation that spatial data or geographical information systems (GIS) storing these data should not be considered within the boundaries of individual organisations or contexts has led to the development of ideas and practices of SDI. Spatial data and GIS simply need to be embedded in a broader framework if the usefulness of spatial data to multiple users – individuals, groups and organisations – at...

    • Chapter 2 Spatial enablement of processes
      (pp. 35-54)

      The first chapter stated that the concept of SDI as a regulatory infrastructure encompasses two different classes of objectives, functional and adoption, as well as three classes of components, organisational structures, HR systems and technological resources. This chapter argues that the connection between the functional and adoption objectives of an SDI often is realised in the context of processes within and between organisations. Furthermore the chapter substantiates that processes provide a suitable research unit to study the impact of patterns of task division and coordination (the first class of components) on the realisation of the functional and adoption objectives. This...

    • Chapter 3 Research design
      (pp. 55-76)

      The research design should allow answering the research questions as presented in the previous chapter. First it is explained why a case study approach was chosen. Next, the study area is presented. The third section elaborates on the unit of analysis of this research. The case selection procedure is briefly explained in the fourth section, leading to the four cases that are described in fifth section. In the sixth section, the further selection of organisations within each case, called embedded cases, is explained. In each organisation (or embedded case), a series of in-depth interviews was conducted. The seventh section deals...

  9. Part 2 Case studies
    • Introduction
      (pp. 79-80)

      The aim of this study is to examine the impact of structural characteristics of a process on its level ofspatial enablement. While Part 1 of this book laid out the theoretical dimensions of the research and described the research design, this second part presents the results of the analysis of the four cases. Four processes have been selected as cases: the development of zoning plans; the management of address data; the management of traffic accident registrations; and the mapping of flood areas. Within each case, a further selection was made of five to eight organisations as embedded cases. The...

    • Chapter 4 The Zoning Plans case
      (pp. 81-112)

      As stated in Chapter 3, this book examines the relationship between process structure and spatial enablement at two levels: the inter-organisationcaselevel and the intra-organisationalembedded caselevel. The present chapter discusses the Zoning Plans case, and is organised in the following way. The first section presents a general overview of the Zoning Plans case. The second section describes the inter-organisational zoning planning process, in terms of spatial enablement, process structure and demands. The third section zooms in on the intra-organisational level. Finally, a comparative analysis of the six embedded cases of the Zoning Plans case is presented in...

    • Chapter 5 The Addresses case
      (pp. 113-136)

      As stated in Chapter 3, this book examines the relationship between process structure and spatial enablement at two levels: the inter-organisationalcaselevel and the intra-organisationalembedded caselevel. The present chapter discusses the Addresses case, and is organised in the following way. The first section presents a general overview of the Addresses case. The second section describes the inter-organisational address data management process, in terms of spatial enablement, process structure and demands. The third section zooms in on the intra-organisational level. Finally, a comparative analysis of the five embedded cases of the Addresses case is presented in the fourth...

    • Chapter 6 The Traffic Accidents case
      (pp. 137-162)

      As stated in Chapter 3, this book examines the relationship between process structure and spatial enablement at two levels: the inter-organisationcaselevel and the intra-organisationalembedded caselevel. The present chapter discusses the Traffic Accidents case, and is organised in the following way. The first section presents a general overview of the Traffic Accidents case. The second section describes the inter-organisational traffic accidents registration process, in terms of spatial enablement, process structure and demands. The third section zooms in on the intra-organisational level. Finally, a comparative analysis of the eight embedded cases of the Traffic Accidents case is presented...

    • Chapter 7 The Flood Maps case
      (pp. 163-186)

      As stated in Chapter 3, this book examines the relationship between process structure and spatial enablement at two levels: the inter-organisationcaselevel and the intra-organisationalembedded caselevel. The present chapter discusses the Flood Maps case, and is organised in the following way. The first section presents a general overview of the Flood Maps case. The second section describes the inter-organisational flood mapping process, in terms of spatial enablement, process structure and demands. The third section zooms in on the intra-organisational level. Finally, a comparative analyses of the six embedded cases of the Flood Maps case is presented in...

    • Chapter 8 Comparing the four inter-organisational processes
      (pp. 187-192)

      Each of the four previous chapters treated a single case. The present chapter adds a comparative analysis of the four inter-organisational processes, which were selected as cases: Zoning Plans, Addresses, Traffic Accidents and Flood Maps. The chapter has been divided in four parts. The first part presents the classification of the four cases for each of the studied variables: the threeprocess structurevariables,spatial enablementanddemands for flexibility. The second part analyses the relation betweenprocess structureandspatial enablement. In the third part, the possible mediating effect ofdemands for flexibilityis studied, while the fourth part...

    • Chapter 9 Discussion
      (pp. 193-216)

      The purpose of this final chapter is to interpret the research results, to explain the implications of the findings, and to make suggestions for future research. The chapter has been further divided in two sections. The first section explains how the research results support the evaluation of the research propositions in order to provide answers to the research questions that were posed in Chapter 2 (Section 9), and examines how the answers to the research questions fit in with existing knowledge on the topic. The second part provides a further interpretation of these results, by putting the case-related conclusions in...

  10. General conclusion
    (pp. 217-220)

    The present research has applied concepts from the Modern Socio-Technical Systems (MSTS) approach, that traditionally are mainly used to analyse and design structures of whole organisations, to individual processes within and between organisational subsystems. The main conclusion of the research is that, in order to successfully implement an aspectsystem such as spatial enablement in the context of such inter-organisational processes, the focus must best be placed on the architecture of the inter-organisational chain and its intra-organisational links.

    Based on the research findings, a number of recommendations can be made for future practice. At the inter-organisational level, it seems to be...

  11. Afterword
    (pp. 221-222)
    Joep Crompvoets

    The ambition to develop accessible and comprehensive information systems for territorial matters is widespread in the public sector, ranging from large supra-national bodies, e.g. the European Union, to municipalities or local communities across the globe. In the course of the past two decades, considerable effort and resources have been devoted to the introduction of spatial data processing capabilities and to the construction of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in a large number of public bodies. The important level of uptake of GIS-technology across different levels of government is an indicator of the large expectations the technology and information systems have created...

  12. Afterword
    (pp. 223-226)
    Geert Van Hootegem

    If even popular television cooking programs end with the apparently obligatory lessons learned, then we, as scientists, better not lag behind. Maybe we should even take the lead. What have I learned from this book and from the project that preceded it? And especially, what am I supposed to do with it? In the first place, the study confirmed that the establishment of links between two independently operating scientific communities can yield surprising and fresh insights. The problem statements, research questions and related discussions from within the scientific GIS and SDI community changed the way I look at my own...

  13. Annex 1: Collected definitions of SDI
    (pp. 227-235)
  14. Annex 2: List of the interviews
    (pp. 236-242)
  15. References
    (pp. 243-256)