This report presents a performance assessment of the Canadian Geospatial Data Infrastructure (CGDI). As such, it builds on work undertaken by GeoConnections that has resulted in a
definition, vision, mission, roadmap and performance assessment framework for the CGDI. The report will be used by GeoConnections and stakeholders to identify gaps and priorities for CGDI investment and to communicate Canada's spatial data
infrastructure (SDI) status. This assessment is one step within GeoConnections' five-step CGDI performance project, which will conclude with a CGDI assessment and status report due in 2015.
GeoConnections is a national initiative led by Natural
Resources Canada (NRCan). For more than a decade (1999 to present), GeoConnections has coordinated a national effort to build the CGDI, also referred to as Canada's spatial data infrastructure. As the 2012 CGDI Vision, Mission, and Roadmap states,
"The CGDI helps Canadians gain new perspectives into social, economic and environmental issues, by providing an online network of resources that improve the sharing, use and integration of information tied to geographic locations in Canada."2
CGDI can be considered "the technology, standards, access systems and protocols necessary to harmonize all of Canada's geospatial data bases, and make them available on the Internet. Geospatial databases include: topographic maps, air photos,
satellite images, nautical and aeronautical charts, census and electoral areas, forestry, soil, marine and biodiversity inventories."3
The CGDI is characterized in Exhibit 1 below, which illustrates its components and guiding principles. The
components of the CGDI are the policies, standards, technologies and framework data. The CGDI is tied together through collaboration and partnerships. The guiding principles of the CGDI are:
- Open: To enable better decision making, the CGDI is
based on open, barrier-free data sharing and standards that allow users to exchange data.
- Accessible: The CGDI allows users to access data and services seamlessly, despite any complexities of the underlying technology.
- Evolving: The
network of organizations participating in the CGDI will continue to address new requirements and business applications for information and service delivery to their respective users.
- Timely: The CGDI is based on technologies and services that
support timely or real-time access to information.
- Sustainable: The CGDI is sustained by the contributions of the participating organizations and broad user community and through the infrastructure's relevance to these groups.
Self-organizing: The CGDI enables various organizations to contribute geospatial information, services and applications, and guide the infrastructure's development.
- User and community driven: The CGDI emphasizes the nurturing of and service to
a broad user community. These users, including Canadians in general, will drive the CGDI's development based on user requirements.
- Closest to source: The CGDI maximizes efficiency and quality by encouraging organizations closest to source to
provide data and services. Thereby eliminating duplication and overlap.
- Trustworthy: The CGDI is continually enhanced to protect sensitive and proprietary data. The CGDI offers this protection through policies and mechanisms that enable data to
be assessed for quality and trusted by users.