INSPIRE Knowledge Base

Scope and topics for submissions

Scope of the call for presentations, workshops and posters



Using INSPIRE for environment and the digital society



Capacity building - Technologies and Training



The INSPIRE Maintenance and Implementation Work Programme 2017-2020



INSPIRE Thinking out of the box – INSPIRE innovation

What is 'spatial data'?

INSPIRE Directive definition
- Spatial data is any kind of digital data which is directly (e.g. coordinates) or indirectly (e.g. name or address of a place) referenced to a location or geographical area.

- For example, spatial data can be a polygon with coordinates defining the borders of a protected site, the exact location of an emission point, the borders of an industrial site, facility, building or an administrative unit. But it is also data collected on species occurring within and referenced to such a protected site or the measurements taken by a sensor at the point of emission, it can be administrative data related to the industrial facility or data related to the geographical area of the administrative unit such as for example, population density or a value describing the air quality. Which spatial data is covered by INSPIRE?

- They are in electronic form, they relate to an area where a Member State exercises jurisdictional rights, they are held by – or on behalf of a public authority, there are laws in place that require the collection or dissemination of the spatial data. They fall under the scope of the data themes listed in the annexes of the INSPIRE directive.

1.     Using INSPIRE for environment and the digital society

Under this topic we are looking for contributions in the form of workshops, oral presentations or posters where spatial data (including geospatial statistics) and services (and/or other) in the scope of INSPIRE are used, or could be used in applications in one or in a combination of the following thematic domains (for example in the context of 'Smart Cities' applications often address issues such as mobility, energy, spatial planning, utility management – involving citizens):

  1. Sustainable management of natural resources and natural capital1
  2. Environmental monitoring and assessments
  3. Use and potential of INSPIRE for the development of indicators2
  4. Compliance assurance  and environmental crime
  5. Public participation and active dissemination of information – citizen science
  6. Environmental, economic, social impact assessments (including public health)
  7. Waste management  – and other aspects of a Circular economy (e.g. Sharing Economy)
  8. Spatial planning (land – maritime)
  9. Energy (renewable – non-renewable)
  10. Transport - Mobility
  11. Agriculture - forestry - aquaculture
  12. Mitigation and management of natural and man-made hazards and disasters
  13. Utility and asset management – in both public and private sector
  14. e-Commerce
  15. Other e-Government applications

Proposers are encouraged to reflect and comment on the following questions:

  • For which EU legislation or initiative is your application relevant?
  • What problem is being addressed?
  • How is the problem addressed with or without INSPIRE) and what are the benefits of using INSPIRE (e.g. in terms of effectiveness or efficiency gains, additional opportunities)?
  • How was the INSPIRE infrastructure used (directly, through a value-added application, ETL, data model extensions)?
  • Has the use of INSPIRE caused any change in business processes?
  • Is something missing or not working in INSPIRE that would have made the use easier?  (For example; ineffective data policies, lack of data, EU and national level guidance documents,  technological obstacles, quality of tools facilitating implementations, coherence with other EU and national policies, standard development, capacity building, skills, funding)

2.     Capacity building - Technologies and Training

Under this topic we are looking for contributions, workshops, oral presentations or posters,  to building up the skills necessary to better understand, implement, adapt or extent INSPIRE as well as ideas and considerations with regard to opportunities and impacts of evolving and emerging  IT technologies on the INSPIRE framework and its implementation.

  1. INSPIRE for Beginners – presentations aimed at informing the participants which are 'new' to INSPIRE about the INSPIRE background and principles, the policy framework – governance/legislation/guidelines, the relevance, EU-added value  and coherence  of INSPIRE for environmental and other policies, benefits of INSPIRE for policy making/implementation and organizations (cost-savings, improved collaboration, etc.) at different levels of government and across borders
  2. INSPIRE in education - concepts and examples for INSPIRE in the curriculums of schools, vocational colleges and universities
  3. Technologies and tools to support implementing, using and assessing the technical implementation of INSPIRE
  4. Technical standards: Challenges and approaches to the standardization of spatial data and services
  5. Technical solutions for optimizing and/or extending the INSPIRE technical framework
  6. INSPIRE in the Cloud and On-line platforms for exposing, accessing and using spatial data and services, including the relevancy of INSPIRE for Big Data analytics.
  7. Innovation and technical developments in geospatial technologies – in particular, Geographical Information Systems,  and how those relate and/or impact INSPIRE
  8. Innovation and technologies for spatial data collection, processing and integration in spatial data infrastructures (for example; Galileo/EGNOSS, Copernicus data and services, sensor web, Internet of Things, Big Data analytics)

3.     The INSPIRE Maintenance and Implementation Work Programme 2017-2020

The INSPIRE Maintenance and Implementation Work Programme 2017-2020, MWIP presents a rolling plan of actions agreed informally between the Commission/European Environment Agency and the Member State competent authorities responsible for the INSPIRE implementation.

The MIWP has the following long-term objectives:

  • to support the implementation of the INSPIRE Directive so that existing implementation gaps are closed and upcoming implementation challenges are addressed in the most effective, efficient and pragmatic manner;
  • to strengthen the end-user perspective by promoting or developing end-user tools which allow harvesting the benefits from INSPIRE for environmental policy makers and implementers across the EU at all levels of governance; and
  • to improve access to information and thereby promote business opportunities, transparency and accountability which is essential for public administrations, businesses, science and civil society alike.

Under this topic we are looking for contributions – workshops, oral presentation, posters – from the EU level INSPIRE coordinators and stakeholders in the Commission, including the EEA and from the main stakeholders coordinated by the Member State competent authorities responsible for the INSPIRE implementation, environment and other policy areas related to the main working areas and key activities of the MIWP listed below:

  1. Fostering “Fitness for purpose”
  2. End user applications on the use of INSPIRE with a focus on regulatory monitoring and reporting
  3. Alignment with national, EU and international policies/initiatives
  4. Continued support to implementation

4.     INSPIRE Thinking out of the box – INSPIRE innovation

The way spatial data needs to be readily available and shared among those managing and needing the data for dealing with today's  complex societal issues, challenges many of the current practices and 'business models'  of both users and producers of spatial data. Innovation is not limited to technologies and there is a growing understanding that we need to think more out of the box, both at the political level and within the many organisations involved.  Administrative and legal boundaries continue to have 'box-in' effects.  There is still a lack of coordination and cooperation which generally lowers the effectiveness and efficiency of the many spatial data infrastructures on which INSPIRE is meant to be built. Policies and initiatives around e-Government, environment, and climate change etc. require a coherent spatial data infrastructure. In a time where resources are scarce, the current business models are challenged.  Enlarging partnerships, pooling and aligning resources and developing a vision on a value proposition aimed at serving more than the traditional clients 'in the box' are some of the ideas to further explore.

In addition, the rapidly evolving Information and Communication Technology, ICT (cloud infrastructures, online platforms, Internet-of-Things (IoT), machine learning, etc.), Citizens science/crowd sourcing initiatives and 'Big data' revolution offers unprecedented opportunities as well as challenges for the existing business models. The INSPIRE Directive underpins a business model  put in place to break down barriers, connect 'silos' and to 'fill gaps' and 'build bridges' – 10 years after its entry into force and despite the progress made in many areas, we realise that more than ever we need to think out of the box.

As such, under this conference topic we are calling for contributions covering innovation and new ideas on a wide array of potential topics ranging for example from new disruptive business models to new applications and technologies like those related to integrated data collection across sensors and crowd reported data, remote sensing innovation through Cubesats, Drones/UAVs, Imagery, Point Clouds for laser scanning to ideas for bridging the gap between the document (open) data and geospatial (open)data communities and innovation for visualization (e.g Seamless 2D/3D visualization) – just to name a few.

[1] Natural Capital can be defined as the world's stocks of natural assets which include geology, soil, air, water and all living things. It is from this Natural Capital that humans derive a wide range of services, often called ecosystem services, which make human life possible.