Initiatives and Challenges of SDI in South Africa
The first initiatives to establish a national spatial data infrastructure in South Africa approximately 20 years ago relied on voluntary cooperative arrangements. A view on this approach is discussed, including the successes and shortcomings. This approach was later changed to use a legislative approach and legislation to establish the South African Spatial Data Infrastructure (SASDI) was passed in Parliament in 2003. The legislation creates a Committee for Spatial Information to, inter alia, manage the SASDI. It took some years to commence with the implementation of this legislation, which was not ideal. Some key aspects of the legislation are discussed in relation to the impact on successful implementation of the SASDI. Where shortcomings are identified these are highlighted. The Committee for Spatial Information has only recently been established and faces many challenges. The strategic objective and activities identified for the Committee and its sub-committees to address these challenges are discussed. These provide a view of what the Committee intends to do in the establishment of a successful SASDI. There has already been work done in the creation of a digital geo-spatial data discovery facility, but this is plagued by the lack of available meta-data on available geo-spatial datasets. The vision for a geo-portal is discussed.