Title: The Socio-Economic Impact of the Spatial Data Infrastructure of Catalonia
Publisher: European Commission
Publication Year: 2008
JRC N°: JRC44168
ISBN: 978-92-79-08728-8
ISSN: 1018-5593
Other Identifiers: EUR 23300 EN
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC44168
Type: EUR - Scientific and Technical Research Reports
Abstract: This report presents the finding of a study undertaken in 2007 by the Centre of Land Policy and Valuations of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya on the socio-economic impact of the spatial data infrastructure (SDI) of Catalonia. The Joint Research Centre of the European Commission commissioned the study and recommended the methodology. The study is based on a sample of 20 local authorities participating in the Catalan SDI, together with 3 control local authorities not participating in the SDI, and 15 end-user organisations, of which 12 are private companies operating in the Geographic Information (GI) sector, and 3 are large institutional users of GI. The study found that the total direct cost of establishing and operating the Catalan SDI (IDEC) over a five year period (2002-06) was of ¿1.5 million, of which ¿325,000 for each of the first two years (2002-03) necessary to launch the SDI, and ¿283,000 per annum to operate and develop the infrastructure in the three subsequent years (2004-06). Human resources represented 76% of the costs during the launch period (the rest being capital investment), and 91% during operation. The economic benefits in terms of increased internal efficiency of local public administrations for 2006 alone exceed ¿2.6 million per year. Therefore the study concludes that the total investment to set up the IDEC and develop it over a four year period (2002-05) is recovered in just over 6 months. Wider socio-economic benefits have also been identified but not quantified. In particular, the study indicates that web-based spatial services allow smaller local authorities to narrow the digital divide with larger ones in the provision of services to citizens and companies. The illustrative case-study of the difference between two local communes, one which enables citizens to query their cadastral parcels and get all the necessary planning and building permission on line, while the other requires the process to be done by hand after making an appointment with the local technician illustrates well the opportunities offered by the IDEC. In addition to evaluating the socio-economic impact of the SDI in Catalonia, the study reflects on the indicators used for the study and the limitations encountered in collecting the necessary information, with suggestions for future work in this important field of research.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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