Our data-driven world is moving fast and it is causing fear of vendor lock-in, data or product obsolescence, and dead-end solutions. Technical standards can help to give clients a reliable foundation that assists in building core knowledge for decision-making, enable effective comparative insight, and defeat fears. Technical standards reflect best practices developed by the industry around the world. They ensure that technologies used by clients are safe, efficient and integrated, making it easier to procure reliable and cost-effective systems to meet their needs. Do they suffice when we must deal with geodata-based solutions? No, they set the playground but they don’t measure the performance.
That’s where indicators come in. They help assess customers where they stand and prioritize solutions. Standardized indicators mean that customers everywhere use the same measures, making it easier to collaborate with them. For example, ISO 37120:2014 establishes a set of standardized indicators that provide smart cities a uniform approach to what is measured, and how that measurement is to be undertaken for a more effective governance and delivery of city services, included ICT services and geodata-based solutions. But these standards are too broad for being useful as they focus in the outcomes of an organisation as a whole.
Geodata-based solutions require more specific indicators. Hopefully, in Spain AENOR has recently developed two standards that may provide insights for benchmarking geodata-based solutions. UNE 178301:2015 establishes a set of indicators for measuring the maturity of an Open Data initiative, including the software and the data used the initiative. UNE 148002 (available soon) provides guidance for measuring the quality of the data, including the data used in any application. These first steps enable us to envision a possible future where we can defeat client fears by measuring and obtaining certifications that ensure that a geodata-based solution is aligned and effectively solves the problem of an organisation.
The research group IAAA of the University of Zaragoza has collaborated with the AENOR Technical Committees 148 and 178 that have developed these norms. IAAA collaborates habitually with GeoSpatiumLab since the inception of the latter.