Countries with large territories and in a stage of newly advanced economic development represent both a challenge and an opportunity to the use of Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) in monitoring development. But SDIs are much more than just than an electronic map creation device. SDIs require users engaged in the creation and use of geographic information. These users need to be trained in techniques for spatial data handling and analysis. They also need to be aligned with the country’s broad policies rather than just focusing on immediate problem solving.
NSDI: The Case of Brazil navigates the current SDI landscape, addressing both the challenges and the opportunities for development presented by these technologies. The authors rely on interviews with stakeholders, early studies of SDI projects, and first-hand experiences of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) that help shape the country's National Spatial Data Infrastructure.
The report also makes recommendations indicating which areas need funding and where are the strengths that should be encouraged, also providing arguments for the generalization of Brazilian initiatives by other countries. In a large country with many pressing environmental issues, geographic information made broadly available and competently used is a fundamental tool towards achieving the millennium development goals.