H. Cruz Solís1, E. R. Jiménez Huerta1, A. Fausto Brito1, M. P. Palomar Anguas2, J. P. Corona Medina1, M. Anaya Corona1

1Universidad de Guadalajara (MEXICO)
2Universidad Rey Juan Carlos (SPAIN)
During the current decade, Technologies of Geographical Information have undergone an important change of paradigm, as Geographical Information Systems have developed into the Infrastructure of Spatial Data (ISD). This new term refers to a set of data bases, services, methodologies, norms and standards, which make it possible for both producers of spatial data and those who provide geographical services, to visualize, superimpose, consult and analyze geographical information published on the internet, following clearly defined procedures.

In this presentation we shall introduce a number of features of the ISD which is being developed at the Department of Geography – a Project that is being carried out in the Laboratory of New Technologies – and will include the research conducted by academic groups studying various topics related to the Metropolitan Area of Guadalajara. We shall describe the objectives, the conception and the architecture of the ISD, its components, the current state of its development and its future prospects.

The main aim of the project is to establish a remote controlled laboratory of geographical information through Internet 2, to be used for both Geographical research and the teaching of Geography. In line with the characteristics and the purposes of the ISD, the aim is to create a point of convergence that in the medium term can become a platform where it will be possible to share digitalized geographical information generated in territorial studies of Guadalajara and the periphery of the metropolitan area, as well as the information possessed by the laboratories of New Technologies, of Cartography and of Physical Geography in our Department.

Our starting premise is that the objective of the ISD is basically to facilitate access to the Geographical information contained in data bases, and at the same time offer spatial services, such as co-ordinating the exchange of said data and services between users from different disciplines.

According to the methodology proposed, we shall be using essential technological components, accepted within organizations recognizing Geo-spatial standards. The architecture employed will be based on the client-middleware-server model, and will also use the triangular model of web-publish-find-bin services, where catalogue services publish the contents of spatial data, which are subsequently sought out and found by search engines, before being connected, executed and presented to the client as a support for the taking of decisions.

It should be possible for this information to be consulted in university communities connected to Internet 2, taking advantage of the proven reliability of this network, which is necessary for the transmission of dense Geographical information along telecommunication lines.

The importance of these projects is seen in the fact that Geographical information is now consolidated enough to be able to provide a basic infrastructure that makes it possible to make an improvement in the decision taking process. The first great challenge that the infrastructure of spatial data has to face, is how to allow the integration of geo-referenced data coming from different sources. Therefore the institutions collaborating in the constitution of this infrastructure should be aware of the importance of cartographic aspects, and of those concerning use, because the consolidation of this kind of paradigm does depend on these.