The United Nations' Initiative on Global Geographic Information Management (UN-GGIM) has released a report (PDF) on the "Role of Standards in Geographic Information Management." The report was prepared in conjunction with the Open Geospatial Consortium, The International Organization for Standards (ISO), Technical Committee 211 Geographic information/Geomatics, and the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO). According to the report, the guide has three primary purposes:
- Articulate the critical role of standards in geospatial information management;
- Inform policy makers and program managers in Member States of the value in using and investing in geospatial standardization; and
- Describe the benefits of using “open” geospatial standards to achieve standardization, data sharing, and interoperability goals
Enabling a spatial data infrastructure (SDI) for an entire country is a challenge. Recognizing this undertaking, the UN GGIM recommends a "tiered" approach to developing standards and subsequent implementation of an SDI as follows:
Tier 1: Share maps over the web
Tier 2: Geospatial Information sharing partnerships - share, integrate and use geospatial data from different providers
Tier 3: Spatially enabling the nation - large scale (typically national) efforts to develop a "full blown’ SDI that provides access to multiple themes of information, applications for using the shared information, and access via a variety of environments (mobile, desktop, etc.);
There is also a companion document (PDF) supporting the report that describes the standards that are appropriate for each tier.
A meeting of the UN GGIM to discuss the report will be held in New York on August 5th at 2:00 PM Eastern.