Abu Dhabi Spatial Data Infrastructure (ADSDI)
Abu Dhabi Systems & Information Centre

A. Problem Analysis

 1. What was the problem before the implementation of the initiative?
Prior to the Abu Dhabi Spatial Data Infrastructure (AD-SDI) initiative, many government organizations in Abu Dhabi had made significant investments and progress in implementing GIS technology within their own organizations to meet their own purposes. These organizations had many common information needs, but it was often difficult to access and use each others’ information because it was scattered in many different locations / departments, did not conform to any common standards, and lacked clear guidelines, agreements, and procedures for information sharing. Insufficient institutionalization of budget and accountability frameworks across the government for strategic geospatial investment projects based on synergized information from a common and shared infrastructure posed major risks to planning a sustainable, diversified, and value-added economy. Developing an intellectually rich national workforce to take up challenging roles in geospatial data development, applications development, and project management was not given focused attention. Specific strategies to have a homogenous dispersion of the Emirati work force in areas providing a holistic view of the public administration were sparingly addressed. In the absence of an effective street addressing system in Abu Dhabi, the public, both residents and visitors, was badly in need of an interactive web map to find various community facility service centers provided by the government. The integration of multi-source geospatial datasets of land parcels, buildings, land use, land cover, elevation, hydrography, environment, transport facilities, and utility networks was vitally lacking and was critically important for the development of various GIS applications to support decision making. Since these existing geospatial data resources have been developed separately with little or no coordination or use of common standards, there were several inconsistencies in the data sets and users were facing innumerable data sharing and integration challenges. It was observed that in many cases, apart from the technical inconsistency among different data sets produced by different organizations, there were non-technical issues belonging to the social, institutional, jurisdictional, legal, and political realms of the data custodian organizations. Organizations were carrying out major geospatial projects primarily for the internal use of each organization without realizing that with very little enhancement of the internal user requirements the resulting geospatial data would serve the user needs of several other organizations. The prevailing practice for data sharing was that each organization developed separate bilateral license agreements with every other organization requiring complex administrative and legal overheads in customizing separate terms and conditions. The full extent of the data resources that have been developed within an organization was not widely known within the organization as well as across the different organizations. Also, early attempts to bring together the disparate geospatial and non-spatial data sets together in a central environment exposed major gaps in data such as navigable road data and points of interest data. Empowering government and society with open access to geospatial data and services remained as a challenge. Procedures and tools were hardly in place to reach out to the youth, women, and elderly living in rural areas to enable them leverage the services provided by the Government.

B. Strategic Approach

 2. What was the solution?
What the initiative is about The Abu Dhabi Systems and Information Center (ADSIC) is a government entity created to develop, drive and support various initiatives within the Government to transform government services in the Emirate. ADSIC’s Abu Dhabi Spatial Data Infrastructure (AD-SDI) initiative is conceived to provide a framework of standards, policies, data, procedures, technology and capable staff to facilitate, coordinate and support effective sharing and utilization of geospatial information in the Emirate. Based on earlier studies by a few organizations, Abu Dhabi Executive Council in 2005 formed the Spatial Data Management Centre establishment committee to assess the feasibility of a SDI and explore scenarios. In late 2006, Executive Council activated the Geographic Information Infrastructure Charter (GO-R-026) of ADSIC to take the next steps in the implementation of AD-SDI. Today the AD-SDI program is promoted, facilitated, coordinated and supported by the Spatial Data Center (SDC) function within the permanent e-Government program. Main Objectives of the strategy The main objectives of the AD-SDI initiative are to achieve synergies, avoid duplication, support increased coordination and data sharing across the government GIS user community, and to bring social, economic and environmental benefits to the society in alignment with Abu Dhabi Government vision, mission and goals. AD-SDI program is designed to promote, facilitate, coordinate and support the development of a dynamic, entrepreneurial geospatial enabling environment that provides online access to a wide range of geographic information and services; facilitate and support the adoption of standards in key areas to ensure that government systems and databases are compatible and interoperable; ensure financial equity between who pays and who benefits from geospatial data and services; encourage and support private sector to use data to create new and diversified business opportunities and jobs in the knowledge economy; promote public/private partnerships where substantial public benefit or cost recovery can be gained without adversely impacting other public uses; encourage and support non-profit organizations and other segments of civil society in using geographic information to build and promote communities of interest and support public benefits and social equity; promote government transparency and public rights to information access; maintain service orientation to the community of stakeholders and the public; increase the value of e-Government services through spatial enabling; provide executive leadership in the Emirate with decision support information access, spatial analysis, and geo-visualization services. Target Audiences The main target audiences are government organization, businesses, and citizens across ten sectors comprising Utilities/Infrastructure; Safety & Security; Information Agency; Urban Planning/Local Government; Whole of Government; Natural & Cultural Heritage; Social; Education; Public Health; and Businesses. How it solved the problem AD-SDI program came in handy when the Emirate was experiencing unprecedented growth, and the economy and society as a whole were changing and evolving towards a diversified “knowledge economy”. It provided extraordinary level of cross-sector coordination and information exchange among many organizations. The early adoption of AD-SDI and associated coordination and standards helped ensure that the enterprise systems of organizations and commonly needed data assets are compatible and interoperable across the community. The AD-SDI program facilitated the free flow of critical information across all segments of the government and private sectors, institutions of higher learning, research, and civil society. It created the potential to align and synergize existing GIS systems, as well as unleash the potential in the even larger number of organizations that had not yet implemented the technology due to past constraints. Doing so within a coordinated AD-SDI framework yielded maximum return on government investment in geospatial technology and geospatial data across the Emirate.

 3. How did the initiative solve the problem and improve people’s lives?
Tight integration of two major whole-of-government programs, namely e-Government and SDI, is a major challenge that advanced countries are facing today, since these two programs are typically handled by different ministries in the government. ADSIC realized this unique opportunity and took proactive measures to effectively synergize e-Government and SDI programs. The GeoMaturity assessment framework that AD-SDI developed is cited as a good practice for other SDIs to follow, in Chapter 10 on “Measuring and Monitoring Impacts and Benefits” of the PC-IDEA's SDI Manual for the Americas – August 2013 Version, prepared by GeoConnections-Canada for the UN. Also, AD-SDI is the only SDI body that incorporated SDI assessment results in the ROI analysis to justify expenditure on the SDI program. With a unique collaboration and consensus building approach, AD-SDI developed extensive interoperability procedures and geospatial data standards on a variety of topics (http://sdi.abudhabi.ae). Abu Dhabi’s Geo-maturity and SDI assessment report prepared by INSPIRE SDI-Assessment Experts from K.U.Leuven, Belgium highlights the specific activities developed in the field of standardization and interoperability. South Korea singled out the “exemplary service, data and technical standards model” of AD-SDI for honorary mention in its report Abu Dhabi ICT Policy Priority Areas and Korea’s Best Practices, 2012.

C. Execution and Implementation

 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
The AD-SDI Master Plan process is the vehicle used to implement the AD-SDI program. It comprises of a set of well defined activities, namely, Stakeholder Assessment, Data Inventory and Assessment, Requirements Analysis, Strategic Planning, Program Design, Operations Planning, and Implementation Planning. The Master Plan identified the operating plan of the Spatial Data Center (SDC) that is in charge for facilitating and coordinating the AD-SDI program implementation. The operating plan evolved over the years in alignment with the requirements of the various implementation stages of the AD-SDI Program, namely, foundation, institutionalization, innovation, and adaptive management. Years 2008-2009 saw the expansion of the technical and staff capacity of the SDC, growth of the community to over 40 entities, establishment of standards, expansion of the data clearinghouse to over 330 layers of information, and the formalization of data sharing arrangements across the community. The AD-SDI organization and the community-based governance framework encompassed executive steering representation and technical representation from AD-SDI stakeholders, and dedicated Working Groups and Special Interest Groups. Presently, the SDC has 63 stakeholder entities across various sectors and multiple disciplines including federal and local government entities, private sector and academia. And every year, dozens of Working Groups meetings, awareness building workshops and seminars are conducted with stakeholder participation. The strategic plan created during the inception of the program was updated with the AD-SDI Strategic Plan 2010-2014 document. This updated plan identified five overarching focus areas, eight strategic charters, and six desired outcomes. The strategic charters establish how AD-SDI will achieve its vision and mission over a period of five years. The implementation approach to achieve the strategic goals reflects AD-SDI’s overall philosophy and guiding principles. A framework for fundamental geographic datasets, developed in the context of the master planning process, served as the basis for data products and services development that were exchanged across the AD-SDI community using a variety of access channels. At present, those channels comprise of AD-SDI Geospatial Portal, Data Clearinghouse, Service Desk, stakeholder organizations’ websites, mobile solutions, Government Call Center (800 555), organizations’ kiosks, and service counters. The geospatial data, shared among 63 stakeholder organizations in addition to the general public, has evolved over the years to exceed 600+ layers in 2013. The spatially enabled services and channels surged from 14 in 2007-2011 to 44 in 2013. The project coordination and alignment track of the implementation plan, created with the purpose of avoiding duplication, saving effort and time spent, resulted in cost savings worth several hundred millions of dollars annually. The AD-SDI community has developed 45+ data standards collaboratively via working groups. These are adopted by the stakeholder community via the AD-SDI Master License Agreements. Also, the AD-SDI is serving a suite of web services that are utilized by the entities to spatially enable their government services. The web services utilize OGC/ISO interoperability standards for data sharing. The published data on the AD-SDI Clearinghouse goes through a comprehensive process of review and validation based on the agreed upon data standards with the respective entities. The data exchange with several stakeholder entities is automated to shorten the update cycle, enhance the data timeliness, and improve the overall data quality by reducing potential human errors and for added security procedures. Finally, data sharing approach is strengthened via geo legal policies and guidelines that are developed and adopted by the stakeholders to streamline data access, quality, privacy, intellectual property and national security. The Outreach and Communication track of the implementation included participation in major outreach events, development of associations and partnerships for sharing lessons learned and experiences, representing AD-SDI community internationally, regionally and locally.

 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
The idea behind the SDI was planted by several executive leaders in Abu Dhabi in the last two decades who introduced pioneering ideas, innovative governance and advanced thinking in various topics in the geospatial realm. In the early 1990’s a “National GIS” was first proposed in concept by the UAE Military Survey Department (MSD). In 2002, users met under the aegis of Environment Agency Abu Dhabi to first explore the idea of more formalized data sharing across Abu Dhabi government. This issue was then taken up by the Abu Dhabi Executive Council in 2005 with the formation of a Spatial Data Management Centre establishment committee to study the feasibility of an AD-SDI and explore scenarios. The committee commissioned a study that assessed the situation and looked at the options, which included a variety of approaches for data coordination and sharing. In late 2006, the Executive Council activated the Geographic Information Infrastructure Charter (GO-R-026) of ADSIC to take the next steps in the refinement and implementation process of the AD-SDI, including the establishment of the Spatial Data Center within the e-Government program to facilitate, coordinate and support the first stages of SDI development. The master planning process of the AD-SDI program was used to actively engage with the relevant stakeholders in government, businesses and public. Six years from its inception, the AD-SDI community has gone through an organic growth from 8 entities in 2007, 36 entities in2009, 56 in 2012, to 63 entities in 2013. The entities include government and federal bodies, businesses and academia, and are continuing to grow year after year. They represent ten sectors of the economy namely, urban planning & local government, utilities & infrastructure, safety & security, whole-of-government, natural & cultural heritage, public health, social, education, and information agencies.
 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
Since the early days of the AD-SDI program, one of the objectives was to build the capacity of local national resources starting with SDC and moving to the stakeholder organizations. Therefore, ADSIC management oriented the consulting strategic partner, who is specialized in SDI implementation, to develop a comprehensive capacity building program for geospatial information, technology and services (GITS) across whole of government. At the SDC level, this comprised of hiring, mentoring, on-the-job training and awareness building of the staff towards spatial thinking and holistic problem solving. Within a few years, the SDC capacity evolved from a few in-house resources to a team of local resources supported by subject-matter-experts on as-needed basis. At the stakeholder entities level, the GITS capacity building comprised of spatial education, GIS Roadmaps framework development as strategic planning tools, and implementation monitoring and performance management including geo-maturity assessment and cost-benefit analysis. This helped the organizations in developing or strengthening their capacity in the geospatial realm towards empowering their day to day operations, streamlining processes and providing enhanced customer services. The GeoMaturity assessment comprised several environmental readiness factors including capacity building of local national resources to strengthen operations and boost utilization of geospatial services towards achieving the business case in their respective organizations. At present, the AD-SDI stakeholder entities have several channels for soliciting capacity building support: advisory support on GIS roadmap development; requests for information, data and technology standards development and dissemination; spatial data access and sharing across whole of government; and GIS corporate services capacity building. In addition, the entities receive advice from SDC regarding acquisition of services from vendors and service providers on GIS roadmap development and GIS implementation including geospatial information solutions and data management. In 2012, the AD-SDI program signed a MOU with ESRI, a major international GIS vendor of GIS, for the provision of GIS software licensing, technical support, and training to support the GIS capacity building in the entities. In 2013, SDC finalized the plans to acquire satellite imagery and aerial photo services to support the operations of 63 AD-SDI stakeholder entities over a six-year licensing period. All the above foundation services enabled by the AD-SDI program allow reducing the entry barrier for the stakeholder entities towards developing their geospatial capacity by providing them with the means and required resources. In this way, they focus on their core business areas while leveraging the shared government infrastructure and services funded by the government under the aegis of the AD-SDI Program. A comprehensive cost-benefit analysis methodology conceived by AD-SDI demonstrates the cost vs. benefits accrued on the program over the years. The cost-benefit analysis is updated periodically to reflect the latest changes and developments pertaining to the program and the stakeholder organizations. This has encouraged the Government to sustain the funding of the AD-SDI program over the years, which now stands at about US$30 million, through a well established business case and based on a clear direction with the updated Strategic Plan articulating well defined goals, objectives and outcomes.

 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
This section presents five concrete outputs that contributed to the success of the AD-SDI initiative. The one-stop shop geoportal and data clearinghouse of AD-SDI, streamlining data access and sharing across the entire community is a major output of the AD-SDI program. The data on the geoportal, shared among more than 60 stakeholder entities in addition to the general public, has evolved over the years to exceed 600 data layers in 2013. The main drivers of AD-SDI are the government, businesses, and the public. Accordingly, the AD-SDI services are characterized under three groups: government-to-government (G2G), government-to-business (G2B), and government-to-citizen (G2C). AD-SDI’s Data Projects Coordination and Alignment track reviews all geospatial projects to ensure that each project is in alignment with other related projects and that the user requirements of the whole community are taken into account. This track also monitors GITS infrastructure development projects proposed by stakeholder organizations to ensure compliance with ADSIC’s web services and information security standards. This comprehensive governance framework for major project coordination and alignment, which was created with the purpose of avoiding duplication and saving effort & time spent, and that has resulted in government cost savings worth several hundreds of millions of dollars annually, is another major output of the AD-SDI program. Spatial enablement has added value in terms of enhancement brought to dozens of government services in diverse sectors such as health, education, tourism, environment, and more. From mid 2012, AD-SDI developed a comprehensive strategy for spatially enabling e-government services by identifying the government services that are location-based. The type of service channels comprised organizations' websites, kiosks and service counters, behind-the-counter services, e-government portals, and government call center. Standards are essential to facilitate the development, sharing, and interoperability of geospatial data, services, and applications. Standards allow geospatial data from one source to be easily used with those from other sources to create richer and more useful applications. The main outcome of geospatial standards is the availability of geospatial data and services through the AD-SDI geoportal. The local and international community has recognized the business value in relation to AD-SDI standards, interoperability tools, and methods. Today, executive leadership is taking informed decisions based on executive dashboards and advanced analysis tools and methods empowered by AD-SDI. Spatially enabled executive dashboard supporting tracking and coordination of strategic government investment projects is a major output that contributed to the success of the AD-SDI program.

 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
The implementation of the strategy was monitored primarily using the desired outcomes in the 5-year strategic plans, the KPIs in the operation plans, and milestones in the annual implementation plans. AD-SDI also used the GeoMaturtity framework and ROI analysis to make periodic assessment of the program. The AD-SDI Strategic Plan created initially during the inception of the program was updated with the 5-year AD-SDI Strategic Plan 2010-2014. This plan identified five overarching focus areas, eight strategic charters, and six desired outcomes. The annual implementation plan consists of seven tracks covering Community Development & Organization; FGDS Data Development; Organization and Policy; Outreach and Communication; Technical Services; Technical Operations; and GIS Capacity Building. For each track, several focus areas are identified. Each focus area under a specific track is broken down into detailed implementation tasks. Each task is characterized with a start date, end date, and milestones & deliverables against which AD-SDI implementation progress is monitored on a weekly basis. In order to measure and monitor the impacts and benefits of the AD-SDI program the GeoMaturity assessment methodology is used to collect extensive performance information. The term “GeoMaturity” refers to the geospatial maturity level of stakeholder organizations in which government, businesses and individuals utilize geospatial technology and services in the mainstream activities of government, businesses, and society thus improving productivity, enhancing customer service, and supporting decision making by facilitating strategic, efficient, and effective operation of their daily activities. The GeoMaturity index of an organization grades it at one of six maturity levels referred as: Awareness / Enthusiasts, Project-Based, Departmental, Central, Integrated, or Enterprise. GeoMaturity of an organization is characterized by two main indicators (Readiness and Usage) and five sub-indicators. The Readiness indicator is assessed based on factors such as Enterprise Alignment, Data Management, Infrastructure, and Resources Management in the stakeholder organizations in support of GIS capability and means to leverage the use of GIS and SDI. The Usage indicator assesses the actual leveraging of tools and methods to support and enhance operations as well as products and services in support of customers. AD-SDI also carries out extensive ROI analysis to monitor the costs and benefits of the program. A detailed methodology has been developed for this purpose and it is applied on an annual basis to ensure that the benefits are commensurate with the costs incurred in the program.

 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
One of the main obstacles encountered in several stakeholder organizations was the lack of a clear awareness of the potential of spatial analysis tools to support decision making. To alleviate this problem AD-SDI program developed a roadmap framework that provides the organizations a general guideline of the GIS roadmap with a description of its constituting elements. This helped the organizations in planning how they want to move from where they are to where the Government vision 2030 expects to be in terms of streamlining GIS capabilities at the enterprise level. Some of the organizations lacked the capacity to procure the appropriate geospatial technology and services. In Nov 2012 AD-SDI program instigated a MOU with ESRI to provide a range of services to the AD-SDI community. The services cover unlimited software licenses usage including special privileges for schools and universities, technical support, premium support for mission critical applications, technical advice and customized training, as well spatial education resources such as virtual class room courses and teacher training. Another main problem was regarding the geospatial data submitted by contractors, consultants, and developers to Abu Dhabi Government organizations. The CAD data lacking unified standards and made it extremely difficult to integrate them into organization’s GIS. AD-SDI developed a Standards framework for Geospatial Data Submission that incorporates detailed specifications for submittal of surveying, engineering, planning, and utility data. This framework now allows the submitted data to be efficiently ingested into the organization’s GIS while preserving referential and positional accuracy of the original measurements. Inadequate supply of qualified geospatial workforce was a major deterrent for AD-SDI. UAE University, a major AD-SDI stakeholder, has introduced several geospatial courses including a Master’s program in Remote Sensing and GIS. Abu Dhabi Education Council in collaboration with ADSIC is developing spatial education programs for K-12 schools.

D. Impact and Sustainability

 10. What were the key benefits resulting from this initiative?
Improved Delivery of Public Services Social benefits are achieved through increased access to government spatial information such as thousands of common amenities and community services and support for access by general public for discovery of spatial information and for conducting applied research. Economic benefits are achieved through a suite of common applications and service engines that have been developed such as smart mobile applications, spatial tools and methods using mash-ups, web content, web services, and executive dashboards. The environmental benefits stem from the support of sustainable city development that are visible in areas related to water reserves management across disciplines, energy consumption analysis, protected areas delineation, environmental permitting, and information dissemination. Statistics Center – Abu Dhabi (SCAD) enhanced its census survey utilizing various types of data from AD-SDI geoportal, including imagery and admin boundary data. SCAD also uses geo-statistical mapping tools and AD-SDI data for publishing the census results. AD-SDI provided decision makers with the full range of geospatial data and spatial analysis and visualization tools needed to better understand issues and analyze the implications of alternative decisions and scenarios. The Executive Council today tracks and coordinates government’s major strategic investment projects using a spatially enabled executive decision support system. Abu Dhabi Police call center as well as the Abu Dhabi government contact center uses AD-SDI data for enhancing the incident management applications. National Crises & Emergency Management Authority (NCEMA) uses AD-SDI data for emergency management planning. Sharing of key data among government organizations eliminated lots of redundant data development and maintenance efforts. Data sharing also resulted in significant cost reduction in new mapping and geospatial data development among government organizations. The ROI study carried out by AD-SDI reveals that the total benefits of the AD-SDI program far surpasses the investment costs by a factor of 9. The benefits are apportioned along three tracks: 51% FGDS / Services, 26% Infrastructure, and 23% Community development. Positive Impact on Delivery of Public Services Data of more than 90,000 Community Facilities centers across 25 government agencies are available on the AD-SDI geospatial portal under nine groups consisting of Charity & Social Services; Accommodation, Eating & Drinking; Attractions; Sports & Entertainment; Transport; Commerce & Industry; Public Infrastructure; Health; and Education. There are further subdivided into 39 categories and 231 sub-categories. The Health Authority of Abu Dhabi developed a map-based physician directory with access to the general public as well as the physicians. It also leverages AD-SDI geoportal data for disease incidence management and reporting. Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) offers a location-based school finder web application for the general public to find the location of both public and private schools on a map of Abu Dhabi based on users’ specific criteria and get information on school location, type, grade, curriculum, gender, principal’s name, and contact information. The application allows school inspectors to record geo‐tagged notes and photos. School finder is also available as an app for smart phones. Darb, a portal for public users relative to the multimodal services of Department of Transport (DoT), provides information for journey planning such as driving directions, car travel maps, bus travel maps, bus terminals, as well as the nearest point of interest. The mobile DARB application provides additional capabilities that take advantage of smartphone functionality, including GPS location tracking. UAE’s Awqaf authority provides an interactive map guide to determine locations of mosques, holy Quran memorization centers, Waqf representatives and money donation boxes, with additional information on mosque capacity, number of ablution places and floors, whether the mosque is for Friday and Eid prayers, or has facilities such as female prayer section or holy Quran memorization center. This is also available as an app for smartphones and tablets enabling the public to find nearest Waqf facilities. In order to increase civic participation and collaboration between the public and the government to improve government services, the Abu Dhabi Government Contact Centre provides a freely downloadable mobile application (CityGuard) to all residents and visitors. This helps users instantly report any incidents by taking a photo, movie or audio, including its geographic location on an interactive map. The GeoMaturity assessment framework (see Question 8) was used extensively to measure the impact of these applications on the geo-enabled delivery of public services.

 11. Did the initiative improve integrity and/or accountability in public service? (If applicable)
AD-SDI has become an integral part of the Abu Dhabi e-Government initiative. A permanent SDC that is responsible for the facilitation, coordination and support of the AD-SDI program has been established. AD-SDI representative bodies at both executive and technical levels have been established and mobilized to provide important direction and buy-in to the program, ensuring the direct participation and cooperation of the stakeholder organizations that comprise AD-SDI. Well defined Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) established through inter-organizational Service Level Agreements (SLA) ensure that the geospatial data, services, and metadata on the AD-SDI geoportal (http://geoportal.abudhabi.ae) are timely updated by the respective data custodian organizations. Harmonization and leveraging of critical GIS data development projects among multiple organizations have been institutionalized through the Projects Coordination Track. The government of Abu Dhabi is confidently investing heavily in geospatial data development through many organizations with the assurance that the cumulative government investment is leveraged to serve multiple needs, while also tracking and substantiating the return on this investment. Sustainability programs are put in place for the promotion and support of GIS and AD-SDI related capacity building where needed. Entity custodians have been made responsible for developing and maintaining information that is under their jurisdiction. It is also ensured that these entities have the necessary technical and human capacity to reliably maintain geospatial data for which they are the assigned custodian, as well as to take maximum advantage of GIS technology and the benefits of the AD-SDI program. SDI is a highly specialized domain, and there are few places in the world that provide any substantive training and professional development tracks in this domain. Therefore, a proactive program for recruiting UAE nationals and providing them with the necessary background, knowledge and experience in the form of on-the-job training and mentoring has been established for the long-term success and sustainability of AD-SDI. Towards developing the GIS capacity of the stakeholder community, the AD-SDI program joined several international bodies and developed ongoing associations with Global Spatial Data Infrastructure (GSDI), Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC), ESRI, and Government of South Korea. In addition, since 2010 AD-SDI program started developing, , several inter-governmental partnerships and associations to share experiences and lessons learned. This includes Fujairah Statistical Center, Sharjah Municipality, Department of Information & eGovernment - Sharjah, Pennsylvania State University-USA, and other regional SDIs. The AD-SDI community continuously synergizes with other strategic government programs such as e-Government program, No-Objection Certificate program for utilities & infrastructure under permitting and approvals across whole of government, and Smart City program. Over the years SDC has developed and documented the AD-SDI ROI analysis methodology, Standards development methodology, and GeoMaturity assessment methodology. AD-SDI’s GeoMaturity framework was extensively cited in the SDI Manual for the Americas, August 2013 version, prepared by GeoConnections-Canada for the UN. (http://unstats.un.org/unsd/geoinfo/rcc/docs/rcca10/E_Conf_103_14_PCIDEA_SDI%20Manual_Ago2013_ING_draft.pdf) The e-Citizen online education course launched by ADEC and ADSIC, and enhanced by AD-SDI with a map based search, impart computing skills to the public to effectively use Internet for transactions, e-Services, and accessing other government services.

 12. Were special measures put in place to ensure that the initiative benefits women and girls and improves the situation of the poorest and most vulnerable? (If applicable)
This section describes the overall experience with the AD-SDI initiative, a few lessons learned, and some recommendations for the future. The implementation of the AD-SDI program during the last six years has provided key insights into the challenges while growing beyond the operations focus of the current form of the AD-SDI. Developing competencies in spatial skills, spatial thinking, and holistic problem solving by leveraging spatial tools and methods as well advanced spatial analysis functions, is an area that AD-SDI program continue laying out special emphasis on in the future plans. Spatial thinking focuses on education to strengthen foundation competencies such as spatial planning, location-based analytical thinking, problem solving, and decision making. Turning geospatial data into information to support various levels of maturity serving multiple stakeholder organizations is a topic identified for special attention in the future AD-SDI plan as a natural continuation of the process that has already started. Information about location or geography can improve the quality of actions, decisions and responses to opportunities, and enable stakeholder organizations to understand more about their customers. To deepen the sophistication of their analytics, AD-SDI stakeholder organizations can add geographic context and maps to business intelligence applications to create “location intelligence”. How to stay on top of the constantly advancing field of geospatial and related technologies is a challenge that AD-SDI has to live with. AD-SDI program has been continually pursuing this challenge of staying in touch with the latest developments in relevant fields by developing white papers on diverse topics such as Surveying and Mapping, Land Administration, Geospatial Positioning, 3D City Model, Cloud Computing, Sensor Web Enablement, Smart City, and Persistent Identifier. Presently, even though the GIS department of an organization may be quite advanced and active, there are disconnects, in certain instances, between the geospatial personnel at the middle level management and the top level strategic planning team as well as the lower level customer-facing staff in the organization. Though GIS capacity building will mitigate this geo-literacy to a certain extent, an AD-SDI policy level action is considered more effective to increase the geo-literacy level of the financial, strategic planning, and customer services personnel of the stakeholder organizations. While AD-SDI was recently given the role to conduct technical budget review on all geospatial projects in Abu Dhabi, a policy enhancement is recommended for AD-SDI to have a more formal and well-defined role in the budgetary and procurement processes related to geospatial programs in Abu Dhabi, in order to better coordinate and manage geospatial data and services across the government organizations. The newly placed emphasis and importance on location information and making location or place an integral aspect of national policies acknowledges the growing recognition amongst governments, businesses, and the public that an understanding of location and place is a vital component of effective decision making. The geospatial information will also facilitate better governance by providing citizens with richer information and will support economic growth through enhanced resource planning, and improved decision-making across whole levels of government.

Contact Information

Institution Name:   Abu Dhabi Systems & Information Centre
Institution Type:   Government Agency  
Contact Person:   Sunil Thawani
Title:   Business Excellence Manager  
Telephone/ Fax:   00971506667953/ 0097126717333
Institution's / Project's Website:  
E-mail:   mouza.alsuwaidi@adsic.abudhabi.ae  
Address:   6th Floor, International Tower, ADNEC Area
Postal Code:   3133
City:   Abu Dhabi
State/Province:   Abu Dhabi

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