6 July 2011

Cooking up a national SDI framework

Today saw the release of the spatial data infrastructure (SDI) cookbook for New Zealand – a pretty exciting step along our path to a national SDI.

This initial version of the NZ SDI cookbook has been developed to provide guidance for the early stages of implementing SDI, with the chapters based on what is currently known about the elements typically underpinning SDIs, and guided by developments and experiences in jurisdictions internationally.

It includes technical guidance around standards and implementation to help organisations recognise and realise components that together, help shape their contribution to New Zealand’s SDI. In its current form, the cookbook provides context and guidance for the introductory phase of the SDI, describing minimum requirements to help support participation at this early stage.

What has been particularly exciting for me in pulling the cookbook together has been the degree to which we have seen collaboration across central and local government, industry and academia to help shape the concept of SDI into more of a reality. Many hands have contributed to this document, and our hope in releasing it is that many more people will be involved in giving feedback and suggestions to further refine the content.

This is by no means a complete or perfect document, but it’s much easier to start from somewhere. Some components of SDI we know well – the need for agreed standards to underpin interoperability for example. Others are new concepts for many of us – such as the roles of data stewards and custodians.

To further shape the guidance we’re making available, we will be sending out a Request for Information soon, asking solution providers to supply product-specific guidance to enable users across New Zealand to effectively participate in a spatial data infrastructure. Once the responses to this RFI have been received, they will form chapter six of the cookbook.

I encourage everyone to comment, give feedback and email us your thoughts. We’re considering what other channels we can establish to capture your thoughts and discussion on the content included, so we welcome suggestions on this also.

We will also be engaging with the wider community to develop a ‘user forum’ type environment for ongoing discussion and revision of cookbook content to ensure its relevance and currency.

Until we establish these more formal channels – please feel free to leave comments on the cookbook through the comment function for this blog post, with a reference to the particular cookbook section if needed.

Also, you can email the NZGO team on with your feedback and any questions.

Author: Kevin Sweeney et al

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