The Case of the Republic of Korea
Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) has emerged as a valuable tool for monitoring development outcomes. This report, part of the Spatial Data Infrastructure for Development (SDI4MDGs) project, explores the potential use and long-term sustainability of SDI in the Republic of Korea and the lessons for the developing world.
This report seeks to assist developing countries to advance their SDI efforts based on the experience of South Korea. With remarkable economic growth, South Korea stands in a unique position in the world; it transformed from a largely aid-dependent nation to a developed country in a relatively short period of time. Strategic efforts involving advanced IT technologies have contributed considerably to its rapid economic development, largely due to South Korea’s notable NSDI effort. Through investigation and analysis of the South Korean example, this report proposes a strategic NSDI model that can help developing countries implement SDI efficiently.
South Korean SDI has been driven by a top-down approach rather than by a bottom-up approach because the central government has played a large role in implementation. Recently, however, a paradigmatic shift in GIS technology from geographic information systems to geo-spatial information resulted in new legislation, a policy change to a more bottom-up approach, harmonization between national and local efforts, and organizational arrangements for future direction.
This report proposes a strategic NSDI model for developing countries based on the South Korean lessons highlighted in the paper and on the opinions of Korean GIS experts. This model includes 4 strategies: including strategies for geospatial data; GI capacity building; GI portal enabling access platforms; and cost-effective management of GI with partnerships- all of which can be established for the development of SDIs at the national and local levels.