GIS database development and exchange: Interaction mechanisms and motivations

Zorica Nedović-Budić, Jeffrey K. Pinto, Lisa Warnecke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


The idea of sharing geographic data both within and between organizations remains largely resisted despite the obvious benefits that can be derived from data-sharing activities and Federal initiatives that promote them. The research presented in this paper examines the various properties of data-sharing activities, as well as related motivations cited by members of organizations as reasons for entering into cooperative relationships. The findings suggest that organizational members have a number of different reasons for engaging in data-sharing relationships, with common missions/goals and saving of resources being the most frequently cited motivations. Financial resources are the more important reasons for external than for internal interactions. Further, both inter- and intraorganizational activities are guided with formalized mechanisms, the former predominantly in the form of legal contracts and agreements, and the latter predominantly inform of policies and mutual rules and procedures. Informal interactions, however, continue to be significant in facilitating those interactions. We find that adoption of standards is still inadequate to enable ubiquitous data integration and exchange, but certainly appears stimulated by interorganizational engagements. In terms of contributions, the geographic data remain to be the main good exchanged. More involved interactions, such as coordinated database development and maintenance and joint applications and clearinghouses are more likely to happen only internally. The Internet, although still not prevalent, has started to facilitate communications and relationships with external partners. The implications of this research are considered as they relate to future efforts to induce wider sharing of geographic information system (GIS) data across organizational boundaries and to build spatial data infrastructures at all levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-27
Number of pages13
JournalURISA Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering


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