Sh. Asmaryan, A. Saghatelyan, H. Astsatryan, L. Bigagli, P. Mazzetti, S. Nativi, Y. Guigoz, P. Lacroix, G. Giuliani, N. Ray;                             South-Eastern European Journal of Earth Observation and Geomatic,                             2014,                             3,                             pp. 53-62;                                                     
Once the most industrialized republic of the Soviet Union, Armenia inherited a dramatic ecological situation from the Soviet era. As the key national environmental academic entity, the Center for Ecological‐Noosphere Studies (CENS) of the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Armenia has a strong national role in delivering authoritative environmental information and data sets. To enhance data sharing towards its stakeholders, CENS engaged in recent years in several international capacity building projects directed to the setting up of an environmental Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI). These activities were successful in showing the potential of data sharing in Armenia, to gain visibility 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 an environmental national SDI (nSDI) in order to support a wider range of geospatial services. This paper discusses several aspects and challenges of the envisioned strategy. First, we present how the current components of the implemented SDI benefit the scientific and environmental communities in Armenia. Second, we examine how the EGIDA methodology can be applied to support the process of scaling up the infrastructure to become a nSDI, one of the pilot studies in the EU/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.
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