Spatial Data Infrastructures in Morocco (From the Diagnosis to the Success of the Implementation)

Spatial Data Infrastructures in Morocco (From the Diagnosis to the Success of the Implementation)

Elmostaphi Elomari (Institut Agronomique et Vétérinaire Hassan II, Morocco) and Hassan Rhinane (Hassan II University of Casablanca, Morocco)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5939-9.ch005
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A spatial data infrastructure (SDI) is a platform for coordinating the exchange and sharing of spatial data between several producers or users of spatially referenced data. In Morocco, there is a massive production of spatial data and several generally public administrations are starting to feel the need for geographic information governance through a mechanism of exchange and management of data to optimize their efforts and avoid a redundant production. The purpose of this chapter is to draw up an inventory of the state of the art of geo-spatial data, systems, and tools existing in the central administrations in Morocco in relation with the collection, management, storage, and dissemination of geographical information. Through this study, it was found that the problem is more a question of global governance, and that the current context has assets for the establishment of a spatial data infrastructure in Morocco.
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This paper is part of a general assessment to prepare the necessary elements of an academic research that seeks to build a spatial data infrastructure in Morocco’s Rabat-Salé-Kenitra region (RSK region). The SDI aims to promote data sharing through a common platform that takes into account the producers and users of spatial data. The study area is located in the north-west of the country and involves several data producers who have created their own geographic information system to meet their specific needs.

However, the existing systems are neither compatible nor interoperable. In order to attain the objectives of the study, it is necessary to touch upon the current state of the art and the available knowledge on spatial data infrastructures and establish a national benchmark on the implementation of spatial data platforms.

For the time being, spatial information in Morocco is used in many fields. After being used primarily to produce paper maps, techniques and representation tools of the geographical space have evolved over time. In this respect, cartography is now facing new challenges mainly related to technological advances in the field of geomatics (Ibannain and Donnay, 2012).

The analysis of the current situation made it possible to identify new needs in terms of the administration of geographic information. In other words, attention should be directed to establishing the necessary arrangements for the possible pooling of geographic information, which could lead to the establishment of a national data infrastructure. But the question is: do we have in Morocco the main components of SDI as defined in the literature (Ibannain and Donnay, 2012).

The SDI concept (Spatial Data Infrastructures concept) continues to develop as it becomes a basic infrastructure that supports economic emergence, environmental management and social stability in developed and developing countries. Because of its dynamic and complex nature, it is still a fuzzy concept for many, with practitioners, researchers, and governments adopting different perspectives according to their needs and circumstances (Williamson, et al, 2003).

Since the 1990s, the development of SDI concept has been underlining the need expressed at the international level to have access to, exchange and share spatial information held by many producers in order to best use and manage it. The SDI-recommended information sharing between organizations is essential to understand the complexity of environmental and human phenomena. “Taken in isolation, no organization has the information and the know-how to reach this goal” (Craglia, 2010).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Data Collection Protocol: The data collection protocol is a project launched by the Direction of the Spatial Planning, which aims to obtain precise, detailed, reliable, territorialized, and up-to-date information through mechanisms of sharing and exchange is made through sharing agreements between public institutions.

SDIR: The SDIR project (spatial data infrastructure of the RSK region) will be a powerful investment for the development, productivity and attractiveness of the territories of the Rabat-Salé-Kénitra region. The main objective of the development of this SDI is to provide an environment conducive to cooperation between stakeholders, users, and producers of spatial information, effectively and efficiently.

ONDT: National observatory of territorial dynamics that is a tool for decision making and the definition of territorialized public policies. This observation device sets itself the objective of being a place for reflection and cross-fertilization of different strategies and public actions in order to conceive a common, real, and prospective image of the territories.

RSPS: The regional spatial planning scheme is a planning document for the entire territory of the region which enables regional actors to design, for a period of 20 years, a strategic vision of the development of the region.

ALBACHARIA: Information system on human development. A device developed by the national observatory of human development, allows presenting valued information, organized in explicit and visual reading grids and illustrated by thematic maps.

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