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The project for the procurement of the operational first version of the INSPIRE Geoportal at European Level is closing as of this writing and the software components have been delivered for acceptance. This paper wants to give an overview about the implemented functions and chosen solutions, mainly from the end-user perspective. In fact, one main focus of the development was the ease of use, that has been assessed by two usability workshops.
The Geoportal has been designed in order to support a straight-forward workflow:
1. Home (New here) - thematic and geographical access suggestions
2. Browse Catalogue - Easily see what is in, fill your basket
3. Discover Data - Full support of complex metadata queries, fill your basket
4. Combine Maps - Display and combine layers from the basket online
5. Share Workspaces - Tell others about your findings
6. My INSPIRE – User preferences for web portal customization: hide/show details and custom search filter.
The central concept in this workflow is the basket, which is shared among all pages and can be filled at any time from different result lists. This means, that the above workflow is not a fix order of subsequent steps, but the experienced user can jump directly to the page most suitable for the tasks he want to do. This basket is also the basis for the so-called "workspaces", which offer registered users the possibility, to store a set of found records for further use or for sharing with other users.
The basket is then also the base for data exploitation - in the current first version for online viewing only, but the concept is easily extendable to Download Services, as well. The online viewing is implemented through a View Service Proxy component, which has on the portal side a unique WMTS interface and fetches the tiles either from INSPIRE WMS or WMTS layers. This way, all layers can be seamlessly combined into new maps.
Together with the multilingual capacities (see Stutte, Fitzke, Seiler: INSPIRE Geoportal - Catalogue capabilities beyond standards add value to searches, INSPIRE Conference 2012, Istanbul) this workflow leads to an easy way to do cross-country and cross-language searches through the entire INSPIRE infrastructure, such that the objective set out initially has been achieved:
Access INSPIRE spatial datasets and services through a unique entry point, with seamless integration of member states’ services, enabling multi-lingual searches, iterative refinement of result sets and cross-border combination of datasets in customized user maps.
Technologies required to deliver INSPIRE
Lessons learnt and best practice
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