CPD Points

eCPD - From SDI to SKI: Putting knowledge in the hands of citizens

Date & Time

Thursday, 28 Apr 2022
11:30 am - 1:30 pm


By registering at the bottom of this page, you will receive a confirmation email containing the link to the recording (held live on 28 October 2020), to watch at a time that suits you.

The session

Explore the world of ‘innovation’ in spatial data infrastructures.

Spatial data infrastructures (SDI) have arguably emerged as one of the most significant advancements for coordinating, sharing and accessing geospatial data and services.  Yet, decision makers now require far more than just access to data and services – they want answers to problems.  It’s time to move beyond the current ‘data delivery’ paradigm and enable knowledge on-demand.

The limitations of current SDI’s are recognised globally.  In 2018, at its Eighth Session, the United Nations Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM) adopted the Integrated Geospatial Information Framework (IGIF) to address the shortcomings in contemporary SDIs and to provide a guide for strengthening and maximising integrated geospatial information and technologies to power decision-making capabilities. This Framework, made up of nine strategic pathways, is centred on innovation – technological advancement, process improvement, creativity and bridging the geospatial digital divide.

This session spotlighted the IGIF ‘Innovation pathway’ - changing the narrative from traditional SDIs to modernised Spatial Knowledge Infrastructures (SKI), where machine-readable data is key to putting knowledge in the hands of citizens.

The session covered:

  • Why and how geospatial information is being used for evidence-based decision-making.
  • How accessible, machine-readable data is enabling the rapid development of Apps.
  • Beyond SDI - fundamental concepts for delivering knowledge on-demand.
  • The SKI component architecture of the future.
  • The missing link - how government is enabling access to integrated machine-readable data
  • The national map as a knowledge base - underpinned by topographic Linked Open Data.

Read below for details on our speakers and their presentations. 

Dr. Alameh is a seasoned technical and business professional with a contagious passion for interoperable information exchange, technology & process innovation, and working with diverse motivated teams. Dr. Alameh is no stranger to OGC. From 2009 to 2014, she was Director, then Executive Director of OGC’s Interoperability Program, leading initiatives in various domains including earth observation, aviation, public safety and defense.

Dr. Alameh is a graduate of MIT with a PhD in Computer and Information Systems Engineering, a Masters in Civil and Environmental Engineering, and a Masters in City Planning – all with specialization in Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

Our speakers

Kathrine is the Task Team Leader for several projects in the East Asia Pacific Region, including Vietnam, the Philippines and Mongolia. She is also leading the World Bank global geospatial project which includes implementation of the joint World Bank-United Nations Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM) agreement to enhance technical support, project financing and capacity building for geospatial information management in low and middle income countries.

Presentation: Addressing socio-economic challenges with geospatial information

 From global goals such as the SDGs to solving local problems, geospatial information underpins how societies react and respond to the challenges we face every day. 
This presentation will set the scene as to why putting geospatial information in the hands of citizens is so crucial, the important role governments play in developing the enabling infrastructure, and the partnerships that are needed to achieve transformational change.  

Bola has a Bachelor of Science from the School of Spatial Environmental System Engineering, and a Masters’ in Urban and Regional Planning from Seoul National University.

Bola has worked in a number of key roles across Asia and is currently Land and Geospatial Consultant at the World Bank Korea office. She has previously worked in the United Nations of Human Settlement (UN-Habitat) Hanoi Office and has worked as a researcher at the Planning Department of Seoul National University. Bola’s interest and project/research experience is in land administration, geospatial information and urban system planning (resilient cities) in the global context.

Presentation: How Robust SDI led to Rapid App Development

The first confirmed COVID-19 case in South Korea was recorded on 19 January 2020. The government took swift wide-ranging measures to protect the health and well-being of citizens using geospatial information technology, which included the immediate launching of the Emergency Broadcast System. 

The community also played a vital role - rapidly developing several location-based applications during the height of the pandemic. The speed with which these applications were developed and subsequently used by the community was a remarkable feat, and one that has set a benchmark for other countries aiming to flatten the curve of infections.

A robust SDI and Open Data Policy enabled access to machine-readable data for COVID-19 App development. This presentation describes seven major location-based applications, six of which were developed between late January and early March 2020.  

Dr Lesley Arnold works with governments to develop strategies, policies and implementation plans for geospatial information reform, open data initiatives and geospatial innovation globally. 

Lesley currently works with the United Nations and World Bank supporting countries to strengthen their geospatial information management capabilities towards implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and is one of the lead authors of the UN-GGIM Integrated Geospatial Information Framework. Lesley has held several executive positions on intergovernmental committees and is currently a Board Director for AuScope and SSSI.

Presentation: The paradigm shift to knowledge on-demand

The Spatial Knowledge Infrastructure (SKI) enhances current SDI architectures, providing a foundation for knowledge on-demand. This is a paradigm shift from supplier-driven data and spatial analytics, to one where end users can query data at will to obtain new insights. 

Targeting spatial data infrastructure design from a knowledge-out rather than a data-in perspective makes good sense. However, enabling knowledge inferencing requires a rethink and redesign of the way data and supporting services are structured. 

This presentation explores elements of a future SKI and how Artificial Intelligence and the Semantic Web in combination with orchestrated spatial analytics can be used to deliver services that are in step with modern community expectations and the emerging On-demand Revolution.

Dr Ivana Ivánová works as a Spatial Sciences Senior Lecturer at the School of Earth and Planetary Science at Curtin University and FrontierSI Research Fellow in Spatial Information Infrastructures. Ivana’s research interests and expertise are in spatial data quality, provenance of spatial resources and spatial knowledge infrastructures. She is actively involved in national and international standardisation at ISO and OGC.

Presentation: Introducing the SKI component architecture

Spatial Data Infrastructures (SDI) provide access to spatial data and services for humans to solve spatial problems but represent a barrier for machines, such as search engines and spatial services. Ivana will present an architecture for a Spatial Knowledge Infrastructure (SKI) to overcome these limitations.  

The SKI is not a replacement, but rather a transition from current SDI technology - that may include a SDI/SKI ‘hybrid’ step change. Ivana will highlight how standards and metadata are paramount for the successful transition to a SKI, and provide use cases to demonstrate how the SKI meets current best practice for spatial data on the Web.

Irina Bastrakova is currently working as a Director of Spatial Data Architecture Section, National Location Information Branch of Geoscience Australia (GA).

Irina has been actively involved with international and national geoinformatics communities for more than 17 years. She has been interested in developing and practical application of geoscientific and geospatial standards through leveraging common information models, data patterns and vocabularies across multidisciplinary High Performance Data assets to support effective ingestion of data within High Performance environments. Her particular focus is the application of standard technologies such as NetCDF, adoption of semantic web technologies and improving online accessibility to geoscientific data through application of common metadata and data standards. Irina has M.Sc in Structural Geology from the Moscow State University.

Presentation: Data integration on steroids: The Location Index


Dalia Varanka is a Research Scientist with the U.S. Geological Survey in the National Geospatial Program. Her career has focused on spatial information theory, urban environments, and cartography and society. Dr. Varanka is the Chairperson of the Commission on Geospatial Semantics of the International Cartography Association and past officer of the Cartography and Geographic Information Society (CaGIS). Varanka taught Geospatial Ontology and Semantics for the Geographic Information Systems Masters and Associates degrees for the Johns Hopkins University, Advanced Academic Programs. 

Presentation: A Geospatial Knowledge Graph for National Topographic Data 

Knowledge graphs (KG) are a virtual layer connecting disparate databases into an interoperable framework.

Though KGs for enterprises are becoming more popular, their designs for geospatial semantics are not common. This presentation describes U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) research to build KGs for integrating topographic data semantics with a geospatial foundation using free and open source software. 

Existing operational geographic information system (GIS) databases are composed of various feature types and metadata attributes organized as separate themes and stored in different data formats. The system being created tests two research objectives: 1) the feasibility of semantic technology approaches for geospatial data integration within the framework of national topographic data and 2) the contribution to building a body of knowledge about system architecture for geospatial ontologies and linked open data. 

This presentation discusses the problems and aims of building the system, and the integrated KG framework.  The system is being made available as a Docker Container on GitHub as public software.


This event is worth 2.0 SSSI CPD points.

Free for all to attend!


Katie Le Miere
National Events Manager

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