Development of geospatial information standards for Africa
Author(s)/Corporate Author (s)United Nations. Economic Commission for Africa;
United Nations. Economic and Social Council;
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In the light of recent technological developments, geospatial information has emerged as a major contributor to better policy formulation and responses to many of the current humanitarian, environmental and socioeconomic problems facing the world, given its ability to integrate both quantitative and qualitative information throughout sectors and present it to decision-makers in innovative formats. The major barriers and impediments to building geospatial infrastructure will not be technical, but rather institutional and organizational, including the ability to have countries cooperate, learn from one another and adopt and implement common standards. In this regard, adopting and implementing existing international standards at the national and regional levels in Africa require an inventory of current standards available in each country and the selection of a set of relevant standards in accordance with the specific circumstances prevalent in Africa. It is against this mandate that the present report outlines research and a summary of existing guidelines, protocols and good practices that are aimed at playing a supporting role in promoting the internationally agreed standards, advocating their adoption and implementation and demonstrating how they may be aligned with the most recent technological developments and the specific needs of Africa. The main objective of this report is to provide guiding principles on geospatial standards that could be used by national geospatial information authorities, mapping agencies as a reference for strengthening the harmonization of fundamental geospatial data sets in Africa, including the common standards and metadata that would make statistical and geospatial information more usable and more relevant to a wider range of stakeholders.