Supply Chain Mapping for Visualising the SDI in South Africa: A Case of Land Administration Data


Spatial Data Infrastructures

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Edward Kurwakumire, Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa,
Serena Coetzee, University of Pretoria, South Africa,
Peter Schmitz, University of Pretoria, South Africa>,
Siyabonga Mdubeki, Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, South Africa,


A spatial data infrastructure (SDI) is key to the sustainable and economic development of a nation. This is through its key function of making spatial data available to users who range from government, business and the public. There is a global trend of economies being information driven and spatial information is crucial in planning and decision making at all levels of government and business. SDIs are not effectively serving their purposes and this is partly due to difficulty in managing them. On the other hand, an SDI needs to be efficient and effective in as far as access spatial data to various users is concerned. Management tools for the SDI are then crucial to effectively manage it.

In order to improve the operational efficiency of the SDI, one needs to identify or develop tools to aid in its management. Supply chain management (SCM) has traditionally played a major role in designing and managing supply chains in the manufacturing industry domain. In this regard, SCM has been used in many domains, but for spatial data, it has only been applied to corporate geographic information systems and not to the SDI. An SDI is composed of complex integrated networks which are not entirely visible as it includes virtual entities. SCM can play a role in making the SDI network as a whole visible through supply chain mapping. Secondly SCM allows analysis of the stakeholder interactions and spatial data value addition processes. This provides an initial basis to understand what is happening within the SDI and this intelligence is useful for the development of SDI management tools. This study employs supply chain mapping with an object to visualise the SDI supply chain.

The focus of this study is on land administration data in South Africa. The discussion reflects that it is possible to map the SDI using the supply chain mapping. The mapping generated a wide range of information to include the SDI supply chain actors, value addition activities and delivery mechanism for spatial data. This information is important in better defining the operation of the SDI in the South African context as that description forms the basis for developing management tools for the spatial data infrastructure.

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