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What is Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI)?

A Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) provides a framework of standards, policies, data, procedures, and technology to support the effective coordination and sharing of spatial information among a community of stakeholders. Extensive national SDI programmes are now underway in North America, Europe, Australia and elsewhere, and a Global Spatial Data Infrastructure (GSDI) programme has been formed. These existing programmes have established important groundwork, but some countries with rapidly transforming economies are not organizationally ready to adopt these models at a similar rate of development, and many have special political, economic and legal contexts that require a unique approach. For most countries in the world, SDI involves a step-by-step, incremental process that must acknowledge the special circumstances of each nation.