Building a geographic data repository for urban research with free software – learning from


Building a geographic data repository for urban research with free software – learning from (2017)

Publication Type

Journal Article

Year of Publication



S. Steiniger; H. de la Fuente; C. Fuentes; J. Barton;  J.C. Muñoz

Journal Title

International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing


Data Repository, Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI), Free Software, GeoNode, Urban Research


The recent trend towards open data and open science as well as a demand for holistic and interdisciplinary research requires platforms that allow the distribution and exchange of research data, including geographic information. While the requirements and benefits of data exchange are widely discussed, there are few proposals on how to implement data platforms that not only permit the exchange of research data among researchers, but also permit to distribute research results and data to the interest public. We elaborate what points are important for implementing a (geographic) data repository and propose then to adopt the concept of Spatial Data Infrastructures (SDI) as a solution for the implementation of research data repositories. We present as a case study the geographic data and document repository of the Chilean research Centre on Sustainable Urban Development (CEDEUS), the CEDEUS Observatory. Besides the infrastructure to host and distribute data, communication tools are an important component of such a data repository service. For this case study we analyse which things have worked well and which things have not worked well based on the experiences collected during three years of operation. We close with some recommendations for the implementation of data repositories for research.


Corresponding Author

 Juan Carlos Muñoz,

Line (s) of Research

Integrated planning; Access and mobility