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Geospatial Data Development : Building data for multiple uses

Maps were not necessarily a consumer product, but were considered


part of the national/local assets data mainly used by the government, for
defense, taxes, planning and development. Thus the governments
determined the collection of the information in specific types and formats
required for its intended applications. GI has become a mass-market
product on its own or is found integrated in hard- and software solutions.
Nearly anyone can create their own maps, thanks to the use of desktop
mapping, GIS, GPS surveying, satellite imagery, scanning and intelligent
software. The old monopoly is shaken.
The concepts of core-data and of reference-data relate to two
quite different perspectives. But fortunately they may result in the
definition of very similar specifications. If geodesy is the reference for the
cartographer and the surveyor, the reference of the GI user is generally
more closely related to the real world. It includes concrete themes, such
as infrastructure roads, railways, power-lines, settlements, etc, or
physical features terrain elevation, hydrography, etc. The core being the
heart, the central part, the fundamental part, it may be also considered as
being the common denominator of all GI data sets, being so because
being used by most applications.
Global Map is one illustration of core' data sets conceived in a
global or at least multi-national environment. It is important to recognize
that Core data, as represented by Global Map and other national
initiatives, do not comprise the only data available within a national or
global SDI. SDI capabilities enable the documentation and service of all
types of geospatial data, such as local scientific or engineering projects,
regional or global remote sensing activities, and environmental
monitoring.

Organizational Approach
An organization interested in implementing spatial data that will be
compatible with local, regional, national, and global data sets, must
identify, and potentially reconcile different framework designations across
their geographic area of interest. The framework is a collaborative effort
to create a common source of basic geographic data. The frameworks key
aspects are:
specific layers of digital geographic data with content specifications;
procedures, technology, and guidelines that provide for integration,
sharing, and use of these data; and
institutional relationships and business practices that encourage the
maintenance and use of data.

Framework Leverages the Development of Needed Data


There are many situations in which the framework will help users. A
regional transportation planning project can use base data supplied by the
localities it spans. Government agencies can respond quickly to a natural
disaster by combining data. A jurisdiction can use watershed data from
beyond its boundaries to plan its water resources. Organizations can
better track the ownership of publicly held lands by working with parcel
data. By attaching their own geographic data to the common data in the
framework, users can build their applications more easily and at less cost.
National and global frameworks are a growing data resource to
which geographic data producers can contribute. It will continually evolve
and improve. Thus commercial providers of information benefit through
anchoring to a common framework system and cross-referencing with
other attributes held by other organizations; consumers benefit in
acquiring the framework core geometry, feature definitions, and base
attributes as a by-product of the more advanced data set.

Implementation Approach
Before one can allow software to reliably access mapped features
stored in remote data systems, there must first be a common
understanding about the nature and composition of the objects being
managed. If different classifications are defined using a consistent set of
rules, that ability to map one classification to another and retain the
meaning will be greatly increased. This is also known as the semantic
translation of one representation of an object in one system, for example
a road or river segment, to that in another.

Common Identities of Real World Objects


In many framework implementations, there will not be necessarily
one authoritative geometric representation of a feature in the real world.
Having well-known identities of features established with a coding system
within a community greatly assists in the association of attribute
information to real-world objects where such attributes may not reside in a
GIS or spatially-enabled data base. This becomes a logical model for
organizing related geospatial information.