Glossary of temrs, with explanations and expansion where necessary. If you come accross an unfamiliar term, please enter it below and it will be filled in by our volunteer army.
- Geospatial Data
- Geospatial Data Infrastructure
- Geographic Information Systems
- National Mapping Agencies
Geographic data is the base layer of civic management in the Information Age. Geodata (or “geospatial information”) describes where you can vote; who represents you at different levels of government; where your children are entitled to attend state-managed schools; where different urban and rural developments are allowed to happen; where water and energy infrastructure lives; where we are. In the United States, geographic information collected by state agencies must be made available in the public domain for no more the cost of distribution (which, in these days of the Internet, is effectively free).
Geospatial Data Infrastructure
A common framework, (for example, the restrictive framework proposed by INSPIRE) for annotating and sharing geographic data between member states. A Geospatial Data Infrastructure can be a good idea, if it gives more people access to more data, especially if it already belongs to them!
Geographic Information Systems
Software systems for processing, editing, annotating and displaying Geospatial Data.
National Mapping Agencies
These organisations are responsible for coordinating cooperation between all kinds of local and regional government agencies that collect, and need to use, public geodata. One aim of INSPIRE is to facilitate the sharing of geographic data between Europe’s National Mapping Agencies. Natoinal Mapping Agencies of European member states include: