Fundamental Geospatial Datasets

This section provides a summary of the considerations involved in the development and assessment of a comprehensive inventory of geospatial data for the BNSDI. At present there are many related, redundant and/or interdependent information sources that are being used or generated across the BNSDI stakeholder community. A key target of the BNSDI is to ensure the effective collection, management and utilization of commonly needed geospatial information across the community. This requires that the specific data themes needed in common are identified, the full range of business requirements that each theme is intended to fulfill are assessed, the existing sources that may contribute to building each theme are evaluated, and that the most appropriate custodian for each theme or topic is logically and systematically defined. The concept of Fundamental Geospatial Data Sets (FGDS) represents a classification system of data classes, themes and topics that provides the organizational framework around which this report and these considerations are structured.

  • FGDS
  • Framework Data and Fundamental Registries
  • FGDS Classification Scheme
  • Scale and Accuracy
  • Data Completeness
  • Temporal Scale and Currency
  • Tabular and Spatial Relationships
  • Data Capture
  • Metadata
  • Data Custodianship
  • Data Custodianship
  • Data Backup and System Recovery

Fundamental geospatial data sets

Fundamental geospatial data sets (FGDS) are those data types that are most commonly needed by multiple entities within the BNSDI community. These often include, among other issues, topographic information, cadastral information, ortho-rectified aerial photography, elevation data, transportation, hydrography, governmental administrative units, land use/land cover, demographics, soils, climatology, air and water quality, community facilities and service areas. International experience has revealed a range of information types that are often needed in common within an NSDI, and this list has been used as a starting point for further refinement and extension to a form that is specific to Belize. For the purposes of this data inventory and assessment, FGDS are defined around ―geospatial primitives‖ that represent the most basic geospatial feature that is being represented or referenced. For example, a building footprint represents the location of the external walls of a habitable structure, and that building footprint may fall within a plot of land which is a unique cadastral area that has been administratively and legally defined. Both of these features may also relate to but are distinct from a street address point that actually represents the location of the primary entrance to an addressable structure. Other information may only be spatial by a reference to one of the geospatial primitives, for example a business license in a tabular file that can be tied to a location on the ground through a street address or building identifier. FGDS definition helps to identify sets of related data and a variety of interdependencies that need to be reflected in the modeling of that information to a standardized content and form that can support the widest range of community needs practical, while recognizing that this information is to be maintained independently by officially recognized data custodians.

Framework Data and Fundamental Registries Page Some FGDS are also considered ―Framework‖ data, in that they represent geospatial ―primitives‖ that can be used as an essential framework for georeferencing other information. For example, building footprints can be used as a framework and common spatial reference for building permits, household surveys, commercial licenses, residence location, student records, utility customer accounts, and many other purposes. It is important both for the efficiency and reliability of the BNSDI that there be a single official custodian for each layer of FGDS who is authorized and accountable for maintaining and managing that information for their own purposes and in support of the rest of the community. The custodianship for each FGDS is established based on who is best suited to capture information as a part of their normal business transactions. This usually refers to which organization has the existing mandate, authority and accountability for recording a specific topic of information and is first to do so chronologically, and at the most detailed level according to standard business practices. This logic is applied as a general rule, but of course exceptions can occur. For example an organization may, according to its mandate and business processes, be the logical custodian but not have the existing capacity to do so reliably in a digital form. In such cases these organizations will need to either develop the capacity (and be given the resources needed to do so) in a timeframe that is suitable to the rest of the community, or that responsibility can be assigned to another organization or outsourced to an external service provider temporarily until the required capacity can be developed. Similar in principle to FGDS are ―Fundamental Registries‖ (FR‘s). FR‘s are centrally maintained tabular databases that provide a single source of authoritative identification information for certain entities such as people, vehicles, buildings, plots of land, public sector investment projects, businesses and many others. Establishing such registries under a single, authorized custodianship and enabling this information to be referenced to verify accuracy before accepting an entry to any government database helps to ensure that correct information is captured, thus providing latent interoperability and the ability to link and integrate information across sectors and units of government. Many of these registries refer to geographically ―fixed‖ entities that have spatial relevance either directly or indirectly and thus are directly relevant to the BNSDI. Others are ―movable‖ (such as people and vehicles) and their movements and current location may be tracked in GIS. In both cases such registries are also important generally to eGovernment and other aspects of societal information infrastructure.

  • Defining FGDS
  • Framework Data and Fundamental Registries
  • FGDS Classification Scheme
  • Data Structure and Format
  • Scale and Accuracy
  • Data Completeness
  • Tabular and Spatial Relationships
  • Data Capture
  • Metadata
  • Data Custodianship
  • Data Security
  • Data Backup and System Recovery

Defining FGDS

Fundamental geospatial data sets (FGDS) are those data types that are most commonly needed by multiple entities within the BNSDI community. These often include, among other issues, topographic information, cadastral information, ortho-rectified aerial photography, elevation data, transportation, hydrography, governmental administrative units, land use/land cover, demographics, soils, climatology, air and water quality, community facilities and service areas. International experience has revealed a range of information types that are often needed in common within an NSDI, and this list has been used as a starting point for further refinement and extension to a form that is specific to Belize.

For the purposes of this data inventory and assessment, FGDS are defined around ―geospatial primitives‖ that represent the most basic geospatial feature that is being represented or referenced. For example, a building footprint represents the location of the external walls of a habitable structure, and that building footprint may fall within a plot of land which is a unique cadastral area that has been administratively and legally defined. Both of these features may also relate to but are distinct from a street address point that actually represents the location of the primary entrance to an addressable structure. Other information may only be spatial by a reference to one of the geospatial primitives, for example a business license in a tabular file that can be tied to a location on the ground through a street address or building identifier.

FGDS definition helps to identify sets of related data and a variety of interdependencies that need to be reflected in the modeling of that information to a standardized content and form that can support the widest range of community needs practical, while recognizing that this information is to be maintained independently by officially recognized data custodians

Framework Data and Fundamental Registries

Some FGDS are also considered ―Framework‖ data, in that they represent geospatial ―primitives‖ that can be used as an essential framework for georeferencing other information. For example, building footprints can be used as a framework and common spatial reference for building permits, household surveys, commercial licenses, residence location, student records, utility customer accounts, and many other purposes. It is important both for the efficiency and reliability of the BNSDI that there be a single official custodian for each layer of FGDS who is authorized and accountable for maintaining and managing that information for their own purposes and in support of the rest of the community. The custodianship for each FGDS is established based on who is best suited to capture information as a part of their normal business transactions. This usually refers to which organization has the existing mandate, authority and accountability for recording a specific topic of information and is first to do so chronologically, and at the most detailed level according to standard business practices. This logic is applied as a general rule, but of course exceptions can occur. For example an organization may, according to its mandate and business processes, be the logical custodian but not have the existing capacity to do so reliably in a digital form. In such cases these organizations will need to either develop the capacity (and be given the resources needed to do so) in a timeframe that is suitable to the rest of the community, or that responsibility can be assigned to another organization or outsourced to an external service provider temporarily until the required capacity can be developed.

FGDS Classification Scheme

FGDS data are grouped according to certain classes and themes of data to help identify those that are related from a data modeling perspective. The FGDS framework is organized as a taxonomic description of the fundamental classes, related data themes, and the principal topics that make up a data theme. Classes, themes, and topics are outlined below and the taxonomic categories utilized in BNSDI currently are listed in Appendix B: Class. A data class is a grouping of related data issues that have topical and structural commonalities. Relationships between objects in a class can be both spatial and topical (i.e. domain specific). A class contains data themes. Theme. Data themes are sub-types of a data class. These usually have geospatial properties but may not always have physical representation on the ground. Data themes usually relate to an area of knowledge, a phenomenon, or a data product. A data theme is made up of one or more related data topics. Topic. Data topics are sub-types of a data theme. They have geospatial properties and generally speaking, strong spatial relationships at the data theme level. Data topics may describe multiple types of a single geographic phenomenon or data products. Also, one FGDS may related to several data topics. Representation of data topics will vary by spatial scale. Requirements for data collection and management will also vary within a single data topic. Additionally some topics are not inherently spatial, but can be related to a specific spatial primitive feature for geocoding purposes. Basemap. Information in this class provides the spatial frame of reference for all other geographic data. These include horizontal and vertical geodetic control, topographic and bathymetric contours, spot elevations, planimetric features (such as landmarks), remote sensing imagery, coordinate grids, and similar information. The Basemap class includes the following data themes:

Environmental: Environmental data typically include features of the natural environment such as land use, soils, geology, archaeological sites, sensitive flora or fauna locations, and other information concerning the natural and cultural environment. There is a great deal of interest within certain organizations involved with rational physical planning, resource management and environmental protection, to enhance the development of more extensive environmental databases. The classification of flora, fauna, and biological habitat data, for both terrestrial and marine environments, has been brought together under Biodiversity. This theme recognizes the interrelatedness and complexity of plant and animal species within habitat zones. Terrestrial and marine plants, animals, and habitats are then addressed under specific data topics. The Environmental class includes the following data themes:

Utilities. The definition of utilities in the present context addresses the various types of asset-intensive and capital-intensive infrastructure services such as electricity, water, sewage, gas, and to a certain extent telecommunication. Utilities around the world may have undergone several stages of unbundling and/or restructuring of their services following the wave of deregulation and/or privatization that have swept the globe during the pervious two decades with an attempt to improve market competitiveness and to provide a better offering to the public i.e. improved service quality at lower prices. The Utilities class includes the following data themes:

Transportation. This class include roadways, highways, rail lines, bridges, airports and any other information related to transportation networks and facilities. This information can be used in a variety of spatial analyses and for general reference. For example, the street network can be used to route delivery trucks, school buses, public transport vehicles, emergency medical or police response, and other routing applications. It can also be used for allocation applications, by correlating the street network with other information, such as population adjacent to the streets to be served by public transportation, and other factors. The Transportation class includes the following data themes:

  • Survey Control
  • Places
  • Elevation
  • Imagery
  • Remotely Sensed Data
  • Planimetric Features
  • Structures
  • Scanned Basemaps
  • Grids and Indexes Areas.

    This class refers to subdivisions of land (or water) according to some intended purpose. Areas, such as political units, can follow topographic features, or be used to delineate socioeconomic or management zones. Areas delineate jurisdictional areas, socioeconomic and management zones and are used for a variety of planning, administrative and adjudication purposes. The Areas class includes the following data themes:

  • Activity Areas
  • Cadastral
  • Planning Areas
  • Political/Administrative Areas
  • Service Areas
  • Special Management Areas
  • Statistical Areas
  • Social Areas Environmental.
  • Air and Climate
  • Waste
  • Cultural Resources
  • Land and Aquatic Use/Land Cover
  • Biodiversity
  • Surficial Hydrology
  • Subsurface Hydrology
  • Soils
  • Geology
  • Seismology
  • Geomorphology
  • Marine Abiotic
  • Electrical Facilities
  • Potable Water Facilities
  • Sanitary Sewer Facilities
  • Storm water Facilities
  • Telecommunication Facilities
  • Waste Management Facilities
  • Land Transportation
  • Water Transportation
  • Air Transportation

Data Structure and Format

The physical structure and format of data will impact how effectively the same information can be used by multiple organizations to support different applications. Ideally, FGDS should be structured in a manner that can support the greatest number of identified applications, and that models the form, characteristics and behavioral nature of the feature or system being depicted, in a manner that can be transformed or restructured to meet other needs without losing essential information. The data model requirements are at the core of the data development lifecycle, starting with the operational requirements of custodian agencies, and then adapted as needed to support the broader needs of the BNSDI stakeholder community. Internationally there is a growing body of data structure and format standards that provide a basis for interoperability and format exchange among different systems and applications. These can ensure that data developed in one format can be technically imported or exported among systems. The usability of the resulting data when migrated among data structures or formats is still highly dependent on the content standards applied. There is currently no systematic treatment of geospatial data standards in Belize, other than those associated with specific existing systems such as LandFolio or those that are inherent to data provided by external organizations.

Scale and Accuracy

Different applications of geospatial data have different requirements for geographic scale and levels of spatial detail and accuracy. The geographic scale at which information is compiled can be indicative of the level of detail and accuracy that can be reliable achieved. The BNSDI geospatial data can be grouped into three scale ranges:

  • Large scale. 1:1,000 to 1:5,000 – typical scales for an urban neighborhood or for detailed engineering works, or to view a whole village.
  • Medium scale. 1:10,000 to 1:25,000 – more suitable at the city level, or for a large area of relatively distributed human development;
  • Small scale. 1:50,000 and above – used to visualize large parts of the country. Much smaller scales may be used to depict data at the national and international scales, but these are too general as FGDS for most applications, and are therefore not specifically addressed here;

Positional (horizontal and vertical) accuracy can be of crucial importance, and there is a relationship between this and scale, whereby the level of accuracy generally increases at larger scales. Attribute accuracy is also important to the overall accuracy of a geospatial dataset. This refers to the consistency and accuracy of the information that has been entered into tabular database fields.

Data Completeness

Data completeness includes both geographic coverage as well as the presence and population of tabular attribute data fields. Temporal Scale and Currency Spatial completeness refers to whether or not a data set covers the entire territory that is needed to support the BNSDI community‘s needs. Descriptive or attribute completeness refers to whether or not the fields of tabular descriptive data that are needed in common to support end-user applications are present, and the extent to which these are populated accurately and consistently.

Temporal Scale and Currency

How often a piece of information must be updated depends in part on the nature of the data theme, and the business needs of the user community. The boundaries of new buildings may need to be updated on a daily or weekly basis as building permits are processed, whereas the boundaries of a soil or geology map may not need to be changed for many years. As such, the dimension of time becomes a very important consideration for how data is developed, managed, and used. Information may be tied to a particular increment of time (start, stop, and duration), as well as periodicity (every month, quarter, year, etc.). What underlies the actual temporal dimension are typically the business requirements that the FGDS is intended to support, and the means by which this information is captured. The data update frequency will depend also to a great extent on the level of readiness and automation of the individual stakeholder agencies that will be contributing to the BNSDI FGDS.

Tabular and Spatial Relationships

The interrelationships among geographic datasets and tabular or other information media that can be related to geographic data depends upon either tabular relational keys (e.g. a common building address), or a specific geographic equivalency (e.g. a block boundary is composed of the outside edges of all the individual parcels within it). Similarly, features like roads and buildings captured at larger scales can be generalized for use at smaller scales and the attributes of geographic features compiled at smaller scales may be ―conflated‖ to populate the attribute features of more accurate feature geometry captured at larger scales. This raises the aspect of interoperability of spatial data sets through the provision of the following:

  • Solutions to ensure unambiguous identification of spatial objects (place code), to which unique identifiers under existing sub-national systems can be mapped in order to ensure interoperability between them;
  • The relationship between spatial objects; for example, consistency of information shall be maintained for the spatial data sets between items of information which refer to the same location or between items of information which refer to the same object represented at different scales.

    Data Capture

    How data is captured and processed to a form that is usable to the BNSDI community is an important consideration. Ideally, data is collected as a part of a normal business transaction (e.g. the issuance of a building permit, a land subdivision application, or a utility extension project planning and implementation process). This is far more effective and efficient than periodic compilation as a separate process, though clearly certain data topics (e.g. soil types) are best collected as a one-time effort. In addition, the SDI should provide mechanisms for integrating business processes where data relationships and dependencies are concerned. Where data is updated with a certain frequency – as opposed to being a one-time creation – it will be necessary to integrated it into the existing business processes, at two levels:

  • One level that is managed inside the stakeholder agencies whereby the data transactions are rolled up from distributed operational environments to centralized spatial databases that maintain the entire information assets of the individual organizations. This may also include data that is monitored on a continuous or periodic basis that may be statistically summarized (e.g. air quality) for FGDS usage;
  • One level that is handled within the BNSDI network i.e. between the individual nodes or agencies and the BNSDI central node/ data clearinghouse whereby the data is shared by the BNSDI Community.

    Metadata

    Metadata is ―data about data‖, basically a standardized catalog that describes existing data holding. A common geospatial metadata catalog is important in that it allows stakeholders to identify information that may be of interest, and to qualify its appropriateness for a particular use. The international GIS community has developed common geospatial metadata standards that have now been formalized within the International Standards Organization (ISO), the U.S. Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) and the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC). In addition, there are related metadata standards that either extend the geospatial metadata standards to accommodate specialized areas of use, as well as metadata standards in related fields such as library documents and multi-media. SDI metadata should provide summary information on the data including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Data inventory or catalogue
  • Geospatial coverage
  • Conditions applying to access to, and use of spatial data sets and, where applicable, corresponding fees;
  • The quality of spatial data, including whether they are validated and the quality measures, specifications and procedures that were adopted for data validation;
  • The custodian agencies i.e. responsible for establishment, management, maintenance and distribution of spatial data sets and services including contact information;
  • Limitations on public access and the reasons for such limitations in accordance with government laws.
  • The BNSDI community has adopted the ISO metadata standard, however, in most organizations today this information has not been developed and/or is not maintained. Two notable examples of organizations that have developed extensive metadata records include CZMAI and BERDS.

Data Custodianship

Data custodianship considerations are addressed where appropriate in the Data Inventory & Assessment report. Several characteristics are considered in relation to identifying a data custodian:

  • Relies on the business and business processes as the main driver, e.g. the owner of the business process that first records a change on the ground should also be the first choice in being the custodian of that information;
  • Is required to capture the information at a level of accuracy that is suitable or better than required by a majority of the stakeholders;
  • Has authority, mandate and responsibility;
  • Has capacity to be a reliable custodian on behalf of the rest of the community;
  • Can be a temporary custodian due to non-readiness of the prime custodian.

Data custodian responsibility, once approved by the concerned agencies and the BNSDI community, will need to become binding. Other organizations will come to rely on this information thus the assigned custodian agency should be committed and responsible for provisioning the data based on the content, format, standards, update frequencies, procedures and quality that will be agreed upon with other concerned stakeholders. This service oriented mindset will be the driver behind the value propositions offered by the various players in the BNSDI community. Once those agreements and procedures have been established, it will be important to monitor compliance and when not met, to work with the involved agencies to ensure corrective measures are taken.

Data Security

It is important for the sake of privacy, security, confidentiality, intellectual property rights, and government transparency and public information access rights to know that the overall security implications of each geospatial dataset be carefully considered. This information can then be used to determine such things as who should be able to access and view certain data, data download, data dissemination, limitations on use, and other issues.

Data Backup and System Recovery

Any proper IT system and database backup and recovery should be started by preparing a back and recovery plan that can satisfy the business needs as appropriate. A backup and recovery plan defines a business's data backup and recovery needs and specifies the workflow that meets those needs. A disaster recovery plan defines how the business will get back up and running after any kind of catastrophic event. Data backup and recovery is part of a disaster recovery plan—not a substitute for one

BNSDI GIS Day

GIS Day helps people around the world understand and use GIS. It is celebrated by hundreds of organizations with special events and activities in more than 80 countries. GIS Day is part of Geography Awareness Week, sponsored by the National Geographic Society, to promote geographic literacy in the public and private sectors, in schools and in communities.

Belize GIS Day is organized by the Belize Systems & Information Centre (ADSIC). This year's two-day event is one of the largest and most broadly attended GIS Day events in the region. It brings together leaders, decision-makers, government executives, experts, educators and interested members of the public to see the latest achievements of Belize's GIS technology champions - the members of the Belize National Spatial Data Infrastructure (BNSDI) program. The BNSDI members help to facilitate, coordinate, support and promote cross-agency GIS coordination and sharing of spatial information needed to deliver services and plan for the future.

Business Framework.

This section addresses the functional business areas of Belize government and society that can be supported by GIS and the BNSDI. It is commonly stated internationally that over 85% of government functions relate to geographic location in one form or another, and the same could be argued in regards to societal functions as a whole. The purpose of this section of the report is to outline relevant areas of common business sectors, the programs, activities and entities most involved in each and the common GIS/BNSDI functional requirements that are involved in each business area. Clustering current activities according to these generic categories is useful for identifying areas of common functionality and/or business activities that the BNSDI could support directly, as well as help to bridge for better coordination and integration across sectors and administrative jurisdictions. The section has been organized by major functional areas within which several sub-categories of common business activities are outlined. Each section includes a generic summary of each business area based on international sound practice, identification of programs, activities and associated entities is Belize currently involved in these areas (listed in an Appendix due to large table sizes), and a summary of specific GIS and BNSDI functionality that can support each functional area. Appendix B to this document includes a matrix that cross-references the specific business activities of each participating stakeholder organization to the business area groupings overviewed here.

Describes business areas across government that have specific areas of relevance to the BNSDSI. This is based on approximately 370 major functional business areas carried out by the more than 60 entities involved, and more than 1700 geospatial activities that have been identified that could support this full range of potential applications of GIS and the BNSDI. The 13 major clusters of business activities identified include the following:

  • Land/Sea Use Planning and Development
  • Land Administration
  • Utilities and Infrastructure
  • Community Facilities and Services
  • Transportation and Transit
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Public Health and Welfare
  • Natural and Cultural Resource Management
  • Education and Research
  • Political and Government Affairs
  • Business and Industry
  • Emergency Planning and Response

Geospatial Data Framework.

The Fundamental Geospatial Data Set (FGDS) developed within the “Data Inventory and Assessment” report is summarized here for ease of cross-referencing against the other interdependent framework components. The framework includes the 6 Classes of information listed below which are further broken down into more than 50 data themes and over 225 individual data topics, conceptually covering the full range of information topics needed in common across the BNSDI community.

  • Basemap
  • Areas
  • Environmental
  • Utilities
  • Transportation
  • Facilities

Basemap. Information in this class provides the spatial frame of reference for all other geographic data. These include horizontal and vertical geodetic control, topographic and bathymetric contours, spot elevations, planimetric features (such as landmarks), remote sensing imagery, coordinate grids, and similar information. The Basemap class includes the following data themes:

  • Survey Control
  • Places
  • Elevation
  • Imagery
  • Remotely Sensed Data
  • Planimetric Features
  • Structures
  • Scanned Basemaps
  • Grids and Indexes

Areas. This class refers to subdivisions of land (or water) according to some intended purpose. Areas, such as political units, can follow topographic features, or be used to delineate socioeconomic or management zones. Areas delineate jurisdictional areas, socioeconomic and management zones and are used for a variety of planning, administrative and adjudication purposes. The Areas class includes the following data themes:

  • Activity Areas
  • Cadastral
  • Planning Areas
  • Political/Administrative Areas
  • Service Areas
  • Special Management Areas
  • Statistical Areas
  • Social Areas Environmental.

Environmental: Environmental data typically include features of the natural environment such as land use, soils, geology, archaeological sites, sensitive flora or fauna locations, and other information concerning the natural and cultural environment. There is a great deal of interest within certain organizations involved with rational physical planning, resource management and environmental protection, to enhance the development of more extensive environmental databases. The classification of flora, fauna, and biological habitat data, for both terrestrial and marine environments, has been brought together under Biodiversity. This theme recognizes the interrelatedness and complexity of plant and animal species within habitat zones. Terrestrial and marine plants, animals, and habitats are then addressed under specific data topics. The Environmental class includes the following data themes:

  • Air and Climate
  • Waste
  • Cultural Resources
  • Land and Aquatic Use/Land Cover
  • Biodiversity
  • Surficial Hydrology
  • Subsurface Hydrology
  • Soils
  • Geology
  • Seismology
  • Geomorphology
  • Marine Abiotic

Utilities. The definition of utilities in the present context addresses the various types of asset-intensive and capital-intensive infrastructure services such as electricity, water, sewage, gas, and to a certain extent telecommunication. Utilities around the world may have undergone several stages of unbundling and/or restructuring of their services following the wave of deregulation and/or privatization that have swept the globe during the pervious two decades with an attempt to improve market competitiveness and to provide a better offering to the public i.e. improved service quality at lower prices. The Utilities class includes the following data themes:

  • Electrical Facilities
  • Potable Water Facilities
  • Sanitary Sewer Facilities
  • Storm water Facilities
  • Telecommunication Facilities
  • Waste Management Facilities

Transportation. This class include roadways, highways, rail lines, bridges, airports and any other information related to transportation networks and facilities. This information can be used in a variety of spatial analyses and for general reference. For example, the street network can be used to route delivery trucks, school buses, public transport vehicles, emergency medical or police response, and other routing applications. It can also be used for allocation applications, by correlating the street network with other information, such as population adjacent to the streets to be served by public transportation, and other factors. The Transportation class includes the following data themes:

  • Land Transportation
  • Water Transportation
  • Air Transportation

Geospatial Applications.

BNSDI application grouping are those areas of related functional requirements that are needed either to support the management and operation of a central or network node metadata server and data clearinghouse, as well as those geospatial processing components that are needed in common to support other common business requirements of the stakeholder community. The most commonly needed BNSDI applications include the following, each of which is described in more detail in sections following:

  • Data Publishing and Dissemination
  • Data and Application Service Discovery and Access
  • Spatially Enabled Enterprise Applications
  • Spatially Enabled eGovernment Services
  • Field GIS Access and Data Collection
  • Vehicle Tracking
  • Spatially Enhanced National Statistics
  • Development Project Formulation Spatial Analysis System
  • Spatially Enabled Investment Project Tracking System
  • Spatially Enabled SDG Executive Dashboard
  • BNSDI Community Engagement Platform
  • Volunteered Geographic Information Platform

Computing Infrastructure.

The computing infrastructure of the BNSDI will be generally compliant with international standards for enterprise service oriented architecture. Areas of this that require specialized treatment in regards to GIS and SDI requirements are outlined below. The computing infrastructure section addresses requirement for the following general components:

  • Nodes
  • Networks
  • Enterprise
  • Security
  • Standards and Architecture

Nodes

Each node on the BNSDI network will need to include specific hardware and software that will connect and interoperate with the rest of the network. These components will include web, data and application servers (currently GeoNode but may need to support heterogeneous platforms using geospatial data publishing standards depending on the scope of each node), and standards-based software for geographic metadata, mapping and basic application services.

Network

The BNSDI will utilize the Country‘s data communications infrastructure, including mechanisms for connecting remote locations and mobile devices. This is expected generally to fit within the eGovernment infrastructure, but in certain cases may place requirements on the network that are unique to the geoprocessing field.

Network Connectivity & Bandwidth. Connectivity and bandwidth for the BNSDI may be available using a combination of several platforms:

  • LAN/ Wireless LAN
  • WAN
  • Internet

Enterprise

Each participating agency will be responsible for structuring their enterprise computing infrastructure in a manner that is compatible and integrated with their BNSDI node. In cases where agencies have not yet developed the capacity to manage a full BNSDI node, mechanisms will be established to allow them to access and publish their information to the central Clearinghouse. The enterprise computing infrastructure requirements are proportional to level of maturity of the ICT infrastructure in general and the enterprise GIS infrastructure evolution in particular in the organization. The driving need behind those requirements is the business developments in the organization, including the incorporation of GIS as a key facet of each organization‘s enterprise information infrastructure. The latter is more or less dictated by the management vision for digital business transformation and for spatially enabling the organization business operation, and government-wide policies towards modernization and computerization of government operations

Reliability & security

The reliability and security of the Enterprise GIS services offered by a government agency will be defined by several driving needs:

  • The business needs of the agency in a service oriented market driven by a competitive environment for quality of service;
  • The needs of the Belize government to protect and preserve its information infrastructure assets. This will need to include the protection of the Country‘s critical fundamental geospatial data sets (FGDS) information;
  • The common needs of the BNSDI Community in order to spatially enable and enhance the effectiveness of government services.

Supportability

Standardizing techniques and systems for capturing, processing, analyzing and sharing geographic data are crucial for the BNSDI to work effectively. ICT framework for the coordinating center systems and the BNSDI network of interoperable nodes will need to comply with Country-wide architecture blueprint and technical standards that should be described comprehensively in the Belize e-Government ICT architecture & standards guidelines. The document is organized into several chapters that are summarized below and provides architecture blueprint and technical and business standards for Belize Government ICT framework. The objective of this sub-section is to provide a summary of standards & architecture that should be considered in the context of the Belize e-Government program with emphasis on the requirements and their implications on the BNSDI technology infrastructure. This will provide input to the BNSDI program design where compliance with potential future standards is expected. Also being proposed are recommended GIS/ SDI standards and specifications to be adopted in the future within each one of the eight layer architectures, which include:

  • Business Layer Architecture
  • Access & Presentation Layer Architecture
  • Application Layer Architecture
  • Data Layer Architecture
  • Integration Layer Architecture
  • Infrastructure Layer Architecture
  • Security Layer Architecture
  • Operation Layer Architecture

Human Capacity.

Developing, managing and using the BNSDI requires a variety of skills. Development of the suitable human capacity needed to fulfill the requirements in each part of the system will be important to ensuring that the system is reliable, secure and accessible, and in gaining maximum benefit from the program. In many respects, this is true of all computing usage across the Government of Belize, and the BNSDI will benefit from and build on the capacity building that is taking place across the e-Government program. Specific types of human capacity that will affect the BNSDI include ICT, GIS, domain expertise, and BNSDI governance as described in sections following.

  • General computing skills
  • Systems and database administration
  • Software development
  • GeoNode administration

GIS

GIS skills range from those who use the technology indirectly through user oriented applications that require little specialized knowledge, to ―power users‖ that are adept in all aspects of reprocessing, spatial analysis, and spatial programming.

  • GeoNode users
  • Application users
  • GIS Technicians
  • GIS Analysts
  • GIS Super Users

BNSDI Management

The building and maintenance of multi-sector partnerships, facilitation and coordination of BNSDI activities, and support of common needs across the community requires certain knowledge, technical skills, partnership brokering approaches and other skill sets that are particularly needed for managing the BNSDI initiative. This section outlines those governance issues and requirements that are particular to the BNSDI that will need to be considered in the further extension and refinement of the BNSDI Policy and the development of Strategic Plan and Program Design.

  • Partnership brokering
  • Strategic planning
  • Legal and financial
  • Standards
  • Stakeholder community engagement
  • Business process engineering

Institutional Framework.

The BNSDI institutional environment provides the foundation on top of which the information infrastructure and related business solutions are implemented. This will build on the existing adopted BNSDI policy, while adding new elements that are designed specifically to meet the special needs of this initiative. This section covers aspects related to policies, procedures, standards, finance and organization. Those variables provide the framework upon which the BNSDI Program is implemented in an adaptive and step-by-step approach while aligning with the variety of existing policies that have some relevance to this subject.

This section outlines the institutional areas that will need to be addressed in the BNSDI, including: Strategy

  • Alignment with National Strategy
  • Vision, Mission & Objectives
  • Implementation Approach

Policy and Regulatory

  • Alignment with Existing Policy Frameworks
  • Decree Strengthening
  • Legal and Regulatory Review
  • Data Access Policy
  • Information Security Policy
  • Intellectual Property Policy
  • Privacy Policy
  • Public-Private Partnerships

Governance

  • BNSDI Executive Governance
  • BNSDI Facilitation
  • BNSDI Technical Representation
  • Data Custodianship
  • PSIP Coordination

Operations

  • Cross-agency business process coordination
  • Configuration management
  • Service level management
  • Performance monitoring and assessment

Finance

  • Government financial management;
  • Interagency benefit and payment;
  • Commercial benefit and payment;
  • Public and private partnership arrangements;
  • Outsourcing;
  • Public benefit and payment