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Emerging global spatial data infrastructure

A conference held in Bonn, Germany, from 4 to 6 September 1996, brought together some 60 representatives from geographic information and spatial data communities from around the world to discuss recent developments in geographical information strategies and the need for furthe...
A conference held in Bonn, Germany, from 4 to 6 September 1996, brought together some 60 representatives from geographic information and spatial data communities from around the world to discuss recent developments in geographical information strategies and the need for further cooperative efforts in the creation of infrastructural frameworks.

The conference, which was held under the patronage of Mr. Martin Bangemann, European Commissioner responsible for information technologies, allowed the opportunity for a valuable exchange of experiences and information on the latest developments in this sector in every region of the world. The European viewpoint was put forward by EUROGI (European Umbrella Organization for Geographical Information), an organization established under the Community's IMPACT II programme. Particular emphasis was placed on progress made on the European Geographical Information Infrastructure (EGII).

Consensus was reached at the conference that planning for a global spatial data infrastructure (GSDI) must start now, with the involvement of all sectors in the spatial data and geographical information community worldwide. With this in mind, a number of working groups were established, to consider the following questions:

- The benefits of GSDI;
- Potential GSDI engineering projects;
- Legal barriers to unifying elements of GSDI development;
- Political, social, economic and legal issues;
- Critical GSDI political processes;
- The need for a plan of action.

A further conference is planned for early/mid 1997 to continue the dialogue.
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