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White Knights of Spatial Data Infrastructure: The Role and Motivation of Key Individuals.

Craig, William J.

This article considers the White Knights of spatial data infrastructureラindividuals with the vision and motivation to spearhead data development and provide the underlying structures necessary to support data sharing. The article explores two hypotheses. First, individuals have played critical roles in developing a spatial data infrastructure (SDI). Second, the individual motivation to take on this role has common themes that are encountered repeatedly. To explore those hypotheses, the article explains the nature of SDI, examines the relatively successful SDI in the state of Minnesota, and identifies the role and motivations of nine key individuals who made a difference in the development of the spatial data infrastructure in Minnesota. Based on this analysis, the author identifies three common themes that can be found in their stories: idealism, enlightened self-interest, and involvement in a professional culture. He concludes that others can be motivated to become White Knights by encouraging their idealism, documenting the benefits that accrue to the sharing organization, and encouraging professional acculturation.

CURA Reporter
Publication date: 
Minneapolis: Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA), University of Minnesota.
35 (3): 20-26.
Online availability
Download from CURA: 
CURA call number: 
Reporter 35 (3)

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