The social construction of public infrastructure: the case of the Dutch national geo-information clearinghouse project

Henk Koerten, Marcel Veenswijk

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticle


Disclosure of governmental map related information is increasingly being conceptualized as management of inter-organizational National Spatial Data Infrastructures (NSDIs). Until now, studies have been published on how NSDI projects should be designed, set up and monitored. While these approaches have gained some recognition when applied in practice, little is known about what happens when design rules are translated into daily project routines. Social scientific research into how NSDIs are defined, and how they develop and mature is scarce. This paper focuses on how infrastructure is conceptualized in NSDI projects. We present and analyze ethnography of the development of the Dutch National Geo-information Clearinghouse (NCGI). A narrative approach is used to find out how the NCGI was conceptualized, how it emerged, developed, and changed, and how it was appraised. The research finds that actors held storyboards consisting of predefined scripts, which guided their behavior and defined the project outcomes. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-69
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Business Anthropology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2010



  • SOCIAL constructionism
  • SPATIAL data infrastructures

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