Evaluating the socio-economic impact of Geographic Information: A classification of the literature

Publication Type  Journal Article
Authors  Elisabetta Genovese; Gilles Cotteret; Stéphane Roche; Claude Caron; Robert Feick
Year  2009
Name of Journal  International Journal of Spatial Data Infrastructures Research
Volume  4
Abstract  Geographic information (GI) is increasingly important to citizens, businesses and governments in modern societies. Considerable effort has been devoted to developing our understanding how GI affects the information management strategies and practices of individual organizations (GITA, 2006). However, there is an increasing awareness across public and private organizations that more attention has to be paid to assessing the broader economic and socio-economic impacts of GI technologies (European Commission, 2006; Craglia and Nowak, 2006). Given the investments that local, regional, national and supra-national organizations have made in GI and may consider for the future, it is imperative that the return on investments in GI be assessed across all scales. This is particularly relevant as GI is viewed increasingly as an infrastructural element for which investments and benefits must be justified and quantified (Grus, 2007). Although an increasing number of researchers are examining different approaches to evaluating specific GI applications, it is clear that the documentation of business cases and assessment strategies for GI investments is still incomplete (GITA, 2006). The key objective of this paper is to summarize and synthesize some of the current literature related to assessing the value of GI. This review, which was conducted under the auspices of the EcoGeo II project (http://ecogeo.scg.ulaval.ca), is based on an examination of 44 academic, business and government studies. A classification framework was constructed to compare these studies with reference to two key variables: topics and approaches. The studies we analyzed were developed within different public and private organizations and spanned international, national and regional scales. To make the study manageable, we focused particularly on the regional context represented by Canada’s province of Quebec. The results show that the topic of assessing the impacts of GI remains largely embryonic in nature. In particular, we identify the lack of a common vocabulary, no shared understanding concerning exactly which topics should be assessed, a lack of testing for any approaches suggested for evaluation, and often a dearth of concrete answers.
URL  http://ijsdir.jrc.ec.europa.eu/index.php/ijsdir/article/view/120
Export  Tagged XML BibTex