Free Public Geodata Services – theoretical Studies of Approach in Lithuania and Poland
AbstractEfficient use of spatial data is achieved only by sharing them. Increased use of spatial data prompted the need to develop infrastructure which allows to provide data and describe their information from a variety of sources, regardless of the data format or its structure. For this reason, the infrastructure of EU spatial information (INSPIRE) was launched to be developed. The aim of this spatial information infrastructure was to harmonize the exchange of geographic data on state and international levels, creating transparent and favorable conditions for the use of geographic data by promoting product development, decision making in management, business, social, cultural and other spheres, thereby increasing the volume and efficiency of the use of geographic information, as well as the development of value-added services and products.
Public availability of the data allows to apply it for educational purposes (to develop students’ practical skills). University students both in Lithuania and Poland use public services provided by geoportals to tackle different spatial tasks. Evaluation of services provided by geoportal.lt and geoportal.gov.pl has revealed that some information in the Help section is missing, the data is not always downloadable, while in different cadastral registers data discrepancies were detected.
The quality and availability of free geodata services of the Lithuanian geoportal were positively evaluated by 48.68 percent of Lithuanian students, negatively - by 37.57 percent, 13.76 percent of students had no opinion. The quality of spatial data and services by the Polish geoportal were appreciated by 50.30 percent of Polish students, negatively – by 28.31 percent, 14.81 percent had no opinion. It can be concluded that free public spatial data services are readily available to users, easily understandable, controllable, adaptable to students’ practical activities and applicable in a variety of tasks.