Abstract - The Information Society 25(5)

A Tale of Two Trajectories: How Spatial Data Infrastructures Travel in Time and Space

Vincent Homburg and Yola Georgiadou

The notion of a spatial data infrastructure (SDI) was conceived in Canada and the United States in the early 1990s, and has since then travelled to Europe, Asia, Latin America and Africa. In this paper, the concept of SDI is understood as a myth, a mobilizing and at the same time seductive tale that inspires actors to enact reality. This paper first shows what myths underlie the notion of SDI in the American discourse, and then examines how the notion of SDI was reinterpreted and domesticated in the African SDI discourse.  Thereafter it reflects on domestication of SDI in Africa using Rottenburg’s theory of iterating processes of consensus and knowledge differentiation.


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