Transboundary European GIS Databases: Review of the Baltic Region Experiences
The number of seamless GIS databases for European transborder regions is growing at a rapid pace (CEC, 1996; Masser and Salgé, 1996). These developments have, until recently, taken place despite a generally unfavourable European ‘climate’ with respect to the institutional, legal, commercial and technical problems in assembling GIS data from several countries. The new trends are driven by two factors, as pointed out in the recent European geographic information infrastructure debate (CEC, 1996). The first is the escalating internationalisation in most sectors of society, especially in the business, governmental and environmental sectors. The expansion of the ‘geographical arenas’ in which processes and activities take place requires transborder geographic information to perform rational analyses and assessments. The second factor is the general growth in the information technology (IT) business. This expansion, which to a large extent has been focused upon PC users, has led to increased opportunities for supply of cheap, powerful information and communications technology. For example, the Windows 95 version of Microsoft Excel now has in-built a subset of the desktop Maplnfo GIS software.
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