The Norwegian NSDI cooperation "Norway Digital" was established in 2005. The cooperation now comprises more than 500 parties, including about 50 governmental authorities and ministries with interest in spatial data management, all municipalities, all county administrations and 130 electricity and other utility companies. The participation of each party is formalised by means of an agreement. The Norwegian NSDI has a broad representation from different sector organisations.
The Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation recommends and mandates Norway Digital to coordinate actions by the parties to fulfil requirements defined in the Norwegian Geodata act (2010). The Geodata act and bylaws implements the Inspire directive in Norwegian law in accordance with the EEA Agreement, cf. point 1j in Chapter I of Annex XX of the Agreement. The Agreement apply a somewhat different implementation timetable for the EEA-EFTA member states. Hence the deadline for Norway on data harmonization is 2020 for Annex I data and 2023 for Annex II and III data.
“Norway Digital” is the main mechanism for the Inspire implementation.
The INSPIRE implementation efforts have in the recent years mainly focused on the identification, description and tagging of as-is INSPIRE datasets, and progress has been good. These data are of high-quality and are being used in everyday digital work flows in municipalities, county administrations, national authorities and the private sector. Most of the data are harmonized according to national data specifications, adapted to the national legislation and everyday work in most sector activities, e.g. roads and rail management, crisis management, environmental management at all levels, land use and city planning, coastal zone management, fisheries, agriculture, defence and security. The Norwegian as-is data aims to follow major Inspire regulations, such as data sharing principles and accessibility of network services etc. The quality of data content has increased steadily the last years, as has the use in digital processes. Data and services are well documented with metadata following the INSPIRE principles. The Norwegian implementation may be seen as a model for integration of Inspire spatial data infrastructure into the digital economy and digital public work flows.
Concerning harmonization requirement according to Inspire data models, progress is lower, but Norway has pr. 1.1. 2021 twelve harmonized datasets available in the INSPIRE geoportal.
Many organisations offer sector specific data. 19 organisations offer data that falls under the Inspire directive thematic focus.
The data content that is delivered generally holds a very high quality, with a high level of detail and accuracy. Many of the Norwegian Inspire data services are incorporating or based on detailed data from locally organised data capture. Many of the themes also have a reasonable to high updating frequency.
Issues on conformity - technical requirements
The Inspire directive and underlying regulations define a series of requirements. Norway has a dedicated work on delivering according to the requirements. There is a good overall response on data sharing. The number of services has increased the last years. However, the developments towards all technical requirements is relatively low - particularly when it comes to conformity of services. This may be seen in several validation services offered by the European Commission. The Norwegian Inspire coordinator has identified some issues that is linked up to implementation methods and tools offered by the EC – and that should be looked at on central level in the EU;
- Norway is offering the metadata in Norwegian. This is the same practice as most EU countries – offering metadata in their own language. Norwegian was accepted as a valid language until 2-3 years back (the old validator), but recent validator are not accepting Norwegian as a main metadata language. The Norwegian metadata also provides title and descriptions in English using the localized language element. The effect is that no metadata of as is data are validated as high quality metadata. As Norway has agreed with EU on implementing Inspire through an European Economic Area-agreement, we should also have the possibility to deliver in Norwegian. The issue has been raised with technical personnel, as we advise to change practice so that Norwegian is accepted as a valid language.
- The coupling of data sets and services is important for users to find data. The Norwegian reporting values are still relatively low for view services. The method defined by Inspire requires specific implementation in WMS get capabilities, which has not been possible or problematic to implement by many international software vendors, like ESRI. Norwegian implementing organisations find it too resource consuming and troublesome to change well-functioning software by these Inspire-specific requirements. National infrastructure is working well with other ways of coupling data sets and services (coupling in metadata). Inspire should therefore implement other ways of dataset-service coupling, as has been the EU Inspire plan the last years. In addition, EU should put pressure on software vendors to implement full support for Inspire specific features and financially support open source project to implement the features.
- The Atom Feed download service offered by Norway is according to the Inspire regulation and guidance documents as far as we can see. However, the validation fails when we have several links to downloadable dataset (regionally divided datasets) for each entry in the dataset feed. Norway has reported the problem, however, the Inspire validator has not yet been changed.
Delivery of priority environmental reporting data
EU Commission has defined certain Inspire data sets to be of high priority. A sub-group under the Maintenance and Implementation Work Programme 2017-2020 has developed a list of datasets related to environmental reporting (PDS).
The list defines approximately 90 dataset. Approximately 45-55 of these are relevant for Norway.
So far, the Norway has established 14 dataset with metadata and as-is view-services. This number corresponds to 28 datasets in the list. Download services according to Inspire-standards (WFS and Atom) are not established, and there are technical issues regarding linking between metadata and services that needs to be sorted out.
Data to Eurostat, EU Commission Services, EEA, Copernicus.
The Norwegian Inspire data sets are to serve EU bodies and communities, such as Eurostat, EU Commission Services, European Environment Agency (EEA) and Copernicus services, particularly the Copernicus in-situ (Corda) system. Through 2019 and 2020 the Norwegian Mapping Authority has had contact with representatives for the above mentioned services. Their signals about priority Inspire data are valuable, as efforts then may focus on covering priority needs with these bodies and communities. In this work Norway will have a particular focus on delivering data that fulfils user requirements, e.g. on data quality.
National geospatial strategy and action plan.
A National Geodata strategy was launched in late 2018. In this strategy the government sets an aim to boost the use of spatial data in the Norwegian society, in order fulfil the UN sustainability goals, boost economy and develop an effective and well-functioning public sector. There is a specific focus on developing quality data, with full coverage, up to date information, and accurate localization. User assessment show that data quality is too low to fulfil the existing and planned user needs. An action plan with 29 specific actions has been developed, e.g. on geoportal developments.