Building geospatial infrastructure
Many visions for geospatial technology have been advanced over the past half century. Initially researchers saw the handling of geospatial data as the major problem to be overcome. The vision of geographic information systems arose as an early international consensus. Later visions included spatial data infrastructure, Digital Earth, and a nervous system for the planet. With accelerating advances in information technology, a new vision is needed that reflects today’s focus on open and multimodal access, sharing, engagement, the Web, Big Data, artificial intelligence, and data science. We elaborate on the concept of geospatial infrastructure, and argue that it is essential if geospatial technology is to contribute to the solution of problems facing humanity.