Saturday, 7 July 2007

Kenyan SDI Development on Steroids

Wednesday of this week brought a refreshing surprise. The secretariat of the Kenyan National SDI ( held a one-day seminar to review the current draft standards, to which I was invited. I will admit that, as an observer of the KNSDI process for nearly five years now, I was not anticipating that much real progress would have been made. Boy, was I ever wrong!.

Two important factors had completely slipped under my radar. The first was the fact that the Kenyan Bureau of Standards ( has adopted 13 of the ISO 19100 draft international standards as Kenyan national standards. The second was the fact that the Japanese International Cooperation Agency ( has had a team working here for over a year on a joint project with Survey of Kenya and others. They're taking the 13 standards and, based on the experience gained in developing Japan's own SDI, are coming up with profiles, procedures and practices for putting five of those standards (six if count the ISO 19101 reference model) into operational practice. This is great! In a matter of months they have jump-started the whole Keyan SDI effort, getting past many of the institutional roadblocks that impede progress elsewhere. Yes, this is a first cut and no doubt the current drafts will need modification, or more elements added, as experience is gained. But at least there is now a basis for gaining that experience, such as SoKs campaign to vectorize over 900 topological map sheets at 1:50,000 scale, with all geo-processing, quality assurance and metadata development taking place within the framework of these standards. I look forward to aligning the UN's own SDI development ( and the efforts of SDI-EA to this fabulous work and to further, real progress in the near future.

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