Publication: The Role of Collaboration in Spatial Data Infrastructures

Published on
February 3, 2014

The article of Watse Castelein, Arnold Bregt, and Lukasz Grus: The Role of Collaboration in Spatial Data Infrastructures has been published in the Journal of the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association, vol 25, no 2.


This research presents an exploratory study on the factors and dynamics of collaboration processes in the context of spatial data infrastructures (SDIs). We explored the role of collaboration in the national SDIs of the Netherlands and Spain. In interviews, key stakeholders were questioned about collaboration factors and the dynamics in their national SDIs. A rather similar pattern of evolving collaboration could be identified, with more stakeholders becoming involved and a collaboration process that becomes better organized and more formalized. Our research indicates that the SDIs are getting more embedded in administrative organizational and legal structures, relying on the distributed competences and knowledge of the different stakeholders. However, the attitude and level of engagement of SDI stakeholders remains a crucial factor for collaboration. Therefore, a good balance should be found between establishing top-down formalized collaboration structures and informal, more spontaneous ways of collaboration.