Discussing the national geospatial information arrangements with Dr  Joep Crompvoets

Discussing the national geospatial information arrangements with Dr Joep Crompvoets

In this edition of Mapping the Conversations, host Valrie Grant engages in a profound dialogue with Dr Joep Crompvoets, a geospatial industry enthusiast and academic. Listeners are invited to join a journey exploring the essence, evolution, and impact of location intelligence and national geospatial information arrangements. The conversation delves into the waves of change within the geospatial domain, touching upon the significance of spatial data infrastructures and the emerging uncharted terrains shaped by contemporary trends in the field.

Dr Crompvoets shares illuminating insights into the dynamic evolution from data-centric to user-centric geospatial applications. The episode artfully traverses topics from the significance of the UN Integrated Geospatial Information Framework (UN-IGIF) to the necessity of addressing the digital divide in geospatial data access globally. Alongside, the expert discusses the opportunities ripe within the industry, propelled by innovations like AI and digital twins, setting the stage for profound advancements in our understanding and management of spatial data.

About the guest

Prof Joep Crompvoets is an accomplished academic with a profound interest in geospatial technology and its transformative force in society. He hails from the Netherlands, where he studied soil science before branching into the field of geographic information systems (GIS) focused on rural applications. Dr. Crompvoets is known for his work on spatial data infrastructures (SDIs), which culminated in obtaining his Ph.D. and authoring pivotal books on the subject. His professional journey includes contributing to European projects in Spain and lecturing at Wageningen University. Currently, he serves at the Public Governance Institute of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, where he immerses himself in spatial data management research and educates future leaders in the field.

Key takeaways

  • Geospatial technology has shifted from being data-centric to increasingly focusing on user needs and user-centric services.
  • The UN-IGIF serves as an instrumental framework, aiding countries in enhancing their geospatial information management.
  • There exists a global digital divide, where access to high-quality geospatial data is disparate; the developed world sees an abundance, while developing regions often lag behind.
  • Communication between professionals and adherence to continuous improvement processes is vital in advancing geospatial infrastructure.
  • The transfer of academic research into practical, governmental, and organizational applications is crucial for societal advancement and evidence-based policymaking.


  • "SDI is a verb and not a noun. It's a long time process." – Dr Joep Crompvoets
  • "We need to persuade the politicians. That is something which is neglected. We need the political support, the awareness. If we have that as a backup, likely get more guarantee to the implementation." – Dr Joep Crompvoets
  • "Geospatial information is not so special anymore. That becomes mainstream... people are GIS experts, but they are not aware of it." – Dr Joep Crompvoets
  • "What we do is that it contributes to give higher values to our society, by means of the beauty of geospatial information." – Dr Joep Crompvoets
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