New Technology for a New Century
THE HUNGARIAN NATIONAL SPATIAL DATA INFRASTRUCTURE (NSDI)
Eniko KOVÁCS and Dr. Szabolcs MIHÁLY, Hungary
Key words: National Project for Geoinformatics, Information Technology, Metadata, Standardisation, National Spatial Data Strategy.
Throughout the world there is a growing interest for Geographical Information which is being recognised as one of the most critical elements for underpinning economic and social development as well as environmental management. The elaboration of the NSDI - total collection of available geographic information-has driven governments to assign resources to establish effective information infrastructures.
During the past couple of years the map-based information systems became well-known and widely used in Hungary, too. The National Project for Geoinformatics, performed between 1993-96 and co-ordinated by the National Committee of Technological Development proved to be a good catalyst and gave important progresses in GI industry in Hungary. Its main aim was the development of digital mapping, remote sensing, image processing and satellite positioning, providing the basic framework for building up the GIS.
The importance of Metadata -which puts datasets "on show" in the shop window. - was recognised very early in Hungary as well as the need of standardisation. Within the framework of the Hungarian Standardisation Board the Institute of Geodesy, Cartography and Remote Sensing started its standardisation activity in 1994. Recently the Hungarian Standardisation Board has been working on the adoption of GIS pre-standards.
It was a significant step ahead, when the Resolution No. 13/1997 (X. 15.) of the Governmental Commission for Informatics and Telecommunication has been issued. The Resolution has recommended managing definite actions (programmes, projects) to provide basic framework data needed for creation of different GIS and has aimed to elaborate a National Spatial Data Strategy for Geoinformatics in Hungary. According to the Resolution, the Prime Minister's Office was responsible for executing the task. The Prime Minister's Office involved HUNGIS (Hungarian GIS) Foundation for elaborating the concept. The Prime Minister's Office also invited eminent specialists of the profession, experts to form a commission for supervising the preparatory phase and the elaboration of the concept.
The preparation of the National Spatial Data Strategy for Geoinformatics has been divided into five phases:
The participants who elaborated the concept of NGS, preliminarily studied also the National Informatics Strategy that was prepared in 1994/95 as a governmental strategy for the realisation of the information society.
Accordingly, the following projects and the respective preliminary studies have been completed:
The elaboration of the Government's National Spatial Data Strategy collected the professionals in the interests of preparing documents for making government-level decision. Various tasks are still waiting for solution. The Geoinformatics Sub-Commission formed within the Geodetic Scientific Commission of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences has taken the task to solve the problems. The Sub-Commission is expected to submit the documents and recommendations on the NSDI to the Government through the President of the Academy, co-operating with the ministries, the Prime Minister's Office and the respective governmental committees.
Dr. Szabolcs Mihály
24 March 2001
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