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Discussion » Data Sharing: Where do we go from here?

Data Sharing: Where do we go from here?

What are the next steps? What are the short, medium and long-term goals for the region?

  • THis is from Jim

    Hey Bradley, good question!  I think it is important for participating countries to apply what was discussed at workshop at a local level.

    Here is a summary of the activities that we have undertaken in Saint Lucia since attending the workshop in Grenada:-

    1. Open Source Applications-
      We have taken the discussion of open source to the various department heads in the Ministry Of Planning (who are mandated to create maps for the country), highlighting the reasons for and the need to move to an open source platform.  The concept has receive endorsement, and an evaluation exercise has been commissioned to look at the following:-
      • Activities Performed By The Department For Which GIS Applications Is Used-
        Under this heading, the staff of the department (who use ESRI suite of applications) are asked to make a list of activities they perform on ARC GIS, ARC Catalog, ARC View etc.  They are also asked to make a list of things they would like to perform with the GIS application. The activities will be prioritized based upon the objectives of the department.
      • Evaluation of At Least 3 Open Source GIS Applications:-
        At least 3 Open Source GIS Applications will be chosen and will be evaluated (based on the ability to perform the tasks specified above).   The application with  the highest rating will be chosen and the application will go through a testing period, where staff will use the application to perform their assigned duties.  At the end of the testing period the staff will complete and submit an evaluation sheet which grades amongst other things the userfulness of the application.
      • Selection of Application:-
        Based upon the outcome of the above, the application will be selected as the open source application for the department.
    2. Meta Data and Other Policy -
      Apart from looking at the meda data policy for the country, we also felt that it was important to looking at other related policies which have direct bearing on data creation, data use and data distribution. These are:
      • meta data standards
      • spatial data standards
      • spatial data standards – public use
      • database standards
      • GIS data delivery standards


    1. GIS Training -
      We conducted an evaluation of the qualifications of the staff at the department (to see who had received formal training/certification in GIS and the levels of qualification).  Based upon our findings, we contacted and received quotes from some training institutions to provide training (with certification) for both basic and advanced topics in GIS.

    We will update the group on our progress.

    Great job. Keep up the good work.


  • sounds like you been busy Jim. If you are permitted i would like know the 3 Open Source GIS applications you will evaluate.


  • Matthew, we are in the process of coming up with the three. Should have something later this week.


  • Another thing we have done is to make a list of the data holdings in the various departments - the name of the data files, creation date, format type, feature class, projection etc.  We are in the process of prioritizing the list in respect to adding/updating the metadata.


  • Hi Brad and others:

    I was hoping to comment before but was unable.  Regarding the next steps I am not employed with government so I cannot speak it next steps in that context.

    My interest is in getting government and non-government persons using GIS not for making maps for for planning and decison making.  For example only yesterday I was advising the head of Traffic Department on how he could use GIS for planning and decision making. I encouraged him to contact the Physical Planning Department and I plan to introduce him to open source.

    I have been using open source for along time because I have use Mac.  I would like to see the next step in terms of who could use GIS besides people mandated for making maps. Visualization is only one aspect of GIS.


  • Bradley I came across this important article on data sharing.  It should clarify some of the questions and issues that you might have or may not have though about.  Click on this link below to access the pdf file:-

    Information Sharing Question And Answer