Paving the way toward an environmental National Spatial Data Infrastructurein Armenia


Astsatryan Hrachya



Co-author(s) :

Asmaryan Shushanik ; Saghatelyan Armen ; Bigagli Lorenzo ; Mazzetti Paolo ; Nativi Stefano ; Guigoz Yaniss ; Pierre Lacroix ; Gregory Giuliani ; Nicolas Ray


Armenia is a small country geographically located in the South Caucasus region. Once the most industrialized republic of the Soviet Union, the country inherited a dramatic ecological situation from the Soviet era. After the mid‐1990s, the economic policy of Armenia shifted towards a strong support for industrial development greatly ignoring ecological interests. As a result, mining‐related industries such as dressing and metallurgical plants were permitted to operate without environmental regulations, and geo‐exploration and exploitation works in deposits were conducted disregarding nature protection norms. As the key national environmental academic entity, the Center for Ecological‐Noosphere Studies of the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Armenia (CENS) has a strong national role in delivering authoritative environmental information and data sets. Aware of the need for enhanced and more efficient delivery of information and data sharing, CENS engaged in recent years in several international capacity building projects directed to the setting up of an environmental Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI). The goal of this SDI was both to provide enhanced capacities for intra muro maintenance and exchange of data among research groups and\ to allow various external stakeholders to access more efficiently geospatial data sets and services. This first step was successful in showing the potential of data sharing for internal institutional organization, to gain visibility towards key stakeholders in the country and the South Caucasus region, and to start engaging in international voluntary partnerships such as the Group on Earth Observations (GEO). CENS now envisions to scale up its SDI infrastructure to a national SDI (nSDI) in order to support a wider range of geospatial services towards the Armenian environmental community. This paper will discuss several aspects and challenges of the envisioned strategy for an Armenian nSDI. First, we present how the current components of the implemented SDI benefit the scientific and environmental communities in Armenia, with an emphasis on the promising link between high performance computing and geospatial services. Second, we examine how the EGIDA methodology – a GEO capacity building suites of activities developed in the FP7 project of the same name – can be applied to support the process of scaling up the infrastructure to become a nSDI, which has been selected as a pilot study in the FP7 EOPOWER project. Finally, we discuss the potential of future full‐scale provision of geospatial services in Armenia and how these could benefit the various stakeholders involved in Armenia and in the South Caucasus region.

Date created:








Journal or Publication Title:

South-Eastern European Journal of Earth Observation and Geomatics GEOBIA 2014 EOPOWER special poster session






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Center for Ecological‐Noosphere Studies ; Institute for Informatics and Automation Problems ; Italian National Research Council ; UN Environment, Science Division ; University of Geneva ; European Commission


Armenia ; Italy ; Switzerland


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