This paper provides results from a worldwide impact assessment of spatial data clearinghouses. Its aim is to assist policy makers in their task of evaluating whether or not investment in setting up and maintaining these establishments is justified. To achieve this objective a procedure was devised for the comprehensive and systematic evaluation of sustainable development within the worldwide clearinghouse population. The assessment procedure entailed a survey undertaken by clearinghouse coordinators. A range of economic, social, and environmental indicators was chosen to evaluate the relevance, efficiency, and effectiveness of clearinghouses. This paper also presents the results of complementary analyses that were carried out to assess the significance of the impacts recorded. They were also used to assess the objectivity of the responses of the coordinators. The results of these assessments reveal that clearinghouses provide mainly positive impacts. In addition, the results also indicate the significance of clearinghouses as relevant facilities for enhancing spatial data accessibility, providing efficient means of accessing spatial data, and the effective promotion of data use and distribution. Finally, the results could be used to justify present investments and to support future investments in the clearinghouse system.
|Publication status||Published - 2007|