Friday, 2 March 2012

An SDI for Manitoba

Last week, GeoManitoba released a request for proposal (RFP) for a Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) to replace the Government of Manitoba’s aging MLI site.  If you want to read the RFP it is available on MERX (http://www.merx.com/) until March 23, 2012.

What is an SDI?
An SDI comprises the technologies, policies and people necessary to enable the use of spatially referenced data through all levels of government, the private sector, non-profit organizations and academia. Manitoba requires the SDI to store, manage and disseminate its geospatial data across government and to the broader general public.  The SDI infrastructure should be scalable to meet future needs and to easily integrate with corporate, local and national SDIs

Is this a good thing for Manitoba?
Let me assure you that a new SDI is a good thing for Manitoba.  The existing MLI site has been around for more than 10 years.  That’s 70 dog years and 100 internet years.  The old site is difficult for the current staff to maintain. 
“Anticipated SDI benefits include improved government collaboration, improved communication, and improvements to distribution of government information. These improvements will result in government departments sharing enterprise resources, leveraging efforts, reducing redundancy, enhancing productivity, improving data quality, improving decision-making, and addressing the public need for accurate information efficiently and effectively.”

Cost?
No cost or limit was specified in the RFP.  It will be up to those who respond to the RFP to propose a price.   This doesn’t mean that the budget is unlimited, but an open competition such as this ensures that taxpayers get the best deal.

Technology?
No technology was specified as mandatory in the RFP although those responding to the RFP are asked to leverage Manitoba’s existing infrastructure in their proposed design but also to be innovative.  We are hoping that the result will be a solution that works for all of Manitoba’s spatial data users.

Timeline
The RFP is asking for a solution design by November 2012, with a phased development and implementation completed by summer of 2013.

Stay tuned!  Exciting times ahead!

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