The development of an effective spatial data infrastructure (SDI) often occurs in a fragmented organizational environment requiring a high level of inter-organizational collaboration. Different organizations from various jurisdictions needs to work together closely when agreeing on how they will jointly register, store, use and share data and how they will make their data available to the wider society. This collaboration is generally regarded as very difficult. In particular, organizational issues are considered one of the key fundamental constraints to inter-organizational sharing of spatial data. But what makes collaboration effective and successful? For example people often resist sharing data across organizational boundaries due to loss of control, power and independency. In the spatial community, the term awareness is often used when discussing issues concerned with inter-organizational collaboration. However, a major problem by using the term awareness in discussions of inter-organizational collaboration is that awareness is undefined and often misused as a term in the spatial data handling community. The (over)-use of the term awareness, without having a rigorous definition to rely upon increases the difficulty of understanding and developing collaboration issues. The difficulty in quantifying and describing issues in collaboration make the development of effective spatial data infrastructures problematic since this development should be based on a conceptual framework that clearly addresses the problems spatial organizations currently encounter. As a result, the focus of this paper is on the nature and role of awareness. It explores why and how awareness plays a fundamental role in overcoming organizational constraints and in developing collaboration between organizations. The paper discusses the concept of awareness in the area of organizational collaboration in the spatial community, explains the important role awareness plays in the development of spatial data infrastructures, and introduces a methodology to promote awareness. Furthermore, the paper aims to make people in the community more aware of the use of the term “awareness” – when to use it, how to use it and especially important, how not to use it. The paper will use land administration systems as the discipline for investigating awareness.
Shaping the Change: Xxiii International Fig Congress : Proceedings, 2006
Awareness; Spatial data infrastructure; Inter-organizational; Collaboration; Cooperation