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Essays in the economics of Spatial Data Infrastructures (SDI) : business model, service valuation and impact assessment

Abstract : The development of spatial data infrastructures (SDIs) is hampered by several barriers: form economical, technical to organizational and financial, the hurdles are numerous. This thesis attempts to answer some issues related to the socio-economic aspects of SDIs. It focuses on several topics concerning the SDI economic valuation and impact measurement. The aim has been fivefold: i) to propose a business model for this particular type of infrastructure in order to meet a sustainable financing scheme; ii) to perform an economic valuation of the geospatial information available through the SDI platform, the high resolution (HR) satellite images; iii) to examine the role of a SDI as an information structure; iv) to identify the economic impacts of a SDI; v) to study the stability of the satellite image markets through a SDI.In this thesis, a challenge consisted of approaching the business models field into the implementation of SDIs. The relevance of a two-sided market approach for analyzing a SDI dynamics was tested through a platform management process, in order for a SDI to transition to a self-sustaining funding mechanism. We explained how a SDI through its platform could ensure continuous interaction between the different components, represented by the developers of spatial data applications and the potential users of such data.It was important that the economic valuation questions concerning the SDI, need to be refined in parallel with the reflections about the business model of this type of infrastructure. In our context, we examined the economic value of the HR satellite images as perceived by the direct users of a SDI platform. The valuation study came to assess the importance of the satellite imagery as a support for the territorial planning and development economics. In a context of open and distributed innovation within the networks, it offered elements allowing to establish pricing scenarios on a next level, in order to sustain the SDI platform business model in the long run.In addition, we examined the role of a SDI as an information structure. We applied our findings to the clear-cut forest control case in France. Based on heterogeneous information received, we elaborated a decision-making policy in order to help a decision maker better model his decision. An original approach was introduced, articulating between two existing theories: the classic method of Blackwell and the Entropy theory. We advanced a two-level methodological context: The choice of the information structure with the most informative power and the detection of the optimal action.Similarly, by considering the clear cut example, we analyzed the socio-economic impacts of a SDI based on satellite imagery. A detailed analysis of the geospatial information acquired through the SDI, allowed to characterize the public policies involved in this field, in order to examine the impacts related the SDI ecosystem. In a second step, some of these impacts have been assessed in more details.Finally, these valuation studies opened a window to examine the market demand stability through the SDI. The spatial data infrastructures, which constitute the direct link between the users and the large Earth Observation (EO) industry, have a leading role in establishing market opportunities. While the users are becoming primary key-drivers for spatial data technology, they contribute through their demand of raw data and services, to its development and growth. We approached the stability of different satellite image markets through two independent French SDIs, by using the Records theory. We implemented an innovative method and provided additional elements for a better comprehension of the EO data management.
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Chadi Jabbour. Essays in the economics of Spatial Data Infrastructures (SDI) : business model, service valuation and impact assessment. Economics and Finance. Université Montpellier; Université libanaise, 2019. English. ⟨NNT : 2019MONTD018⟩. ⟨tel-02890518⟩

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