The value of GIS data in the functioning of both public and private organizations has increased enormously, to the extent that it is difficult to imagine a modern organization without the use of GI technologies. Currently, organizations use GIS data, especially spatial address data, to locate their customers and to deliver products and services to their doorsteps. In South Africa, the spatial address data are found in separate address databases, which are maintained by different organizations, with minimal or no cooperation among them. Contrary to research evidence pointing to the benefits of organizations sharing spatial data, most organizations still show inability and reluctance to participate in spatial data sharing initiatives; thus perpetuating the costly duplication of efforts in data handling and storage. The authors used a case study approach to assess the issues that motivate or obstruct GIS data sharing among three address organizations in South Africa. This paper presents the results of the three cases, and their implications on the interorganizational GIS data sharing initiatives as they occur in spatial data infrastructures (SDIs), particularly the South African SDI. It is our hope that these findings pertaining to motivators or barriers for interorganizational GIS data sharing (as it was applied to the three cases) will provide valuable lessons to guide organizations to develop and implement successful data sharing initiatives.
This paper reports on Malete Daniel Sebake’s research for his Master of Information Technology (M.IT), supervised by Dr. Serena Coetzee from the University of Pretoria.