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A Network Perspective on Spatial Data Infrastructures: Application to the Sub-national SDI of Flanders (Belgium)

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In order to provide a basis for quantitative and qualitative assessment of SDI-performance, a clear definition and a theoretical framework for SDI are needed. From the various definitions and frameworks of SDI available in the literature, the productional and the geographic information process perspective were selected, combined and extended. From the productional perspective, SDI-development is a dynamic process in which suppliers and users of spatial data interact to add value to the data by using them in applications and processes. The geographic information process perspective incorporates the “information acquisition – delivery – usage” chain. The extension proposed in this article leads to a network perspective on SDI. The nature of this perspective is described for the Flemish SDI. Its applicability to characterise and underpin the assessment of SDI is tested using a Social Network Analysis (SNA) focusing on the network structure parameters “density”, “distance” and “centrality”. The SNA confirms the applicability, usability and extensibility of the network perspective to characterize the SDI, to describe the data flows between stakeholders and to analyse the behaviour of the different (types) of stakeholders within the network. We conclude that SNA should likely be complemented by an impact analysis of different SDI setups on business processes which will provide a good basis for a holistic SDI-performance assessment.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Public Management InstituteKatholieke Universiteit Leuven 2: Centre for Sociological Research (CeSO) Katholieke Universiteit Leuven 3: Spatial Applications Division (SADL) Katholieke Universiteit Leuven

Publication date: 2009-06-01

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