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Implementing INSPIRE in the field of soil – initial results

Einar Eberhardt and Stefanie Richter

(Submission #298)


The INSPIRE directive aims primarily at making environmental data easier to find and usable by enhancing metadata, common data structures and data harmonization. Although data specifications even for annex II and III themes have been effective since October 2015, only very few DS Soil (DS SO)-compliant datasets seem to have been published so far. We tried to use DS SO to create an example spatial soil dataset of the German soil map 1 : 200 000 with legend texts only, and in a second step increased with soil profile data. Even using well-established commercial software products with tailor-made extensions for INSPIRE was challenging. Cooperation between German state geological surveys in order to provide fully harmonized soil property datasets showed that DS SO with its basically three options to provide data (soil body-, soil derived object-, and raster dataset-based), and parameter list extensibility produce further need to harmonize approaches. The problems with the current DS SO will be shown in examples, integrating discussions from the Earth Science Cluster (sub-cluster Soil). These problems originate from the complexity of feature types and their relations as well as from the fact that DS SO has been designed in a flexible way in order to allow provision of a multitude of existing soil data. While the set of object types is well-defined, the various lists of attributes to describe them are extensible. Registries to extend attribute lists are still limited in number and often do not comply with legal INSPIRE requirements. The defined structure of several lists seems inappropriate for their feature classes. Flexibility of the model ensures applicability on the one hand, but affects harmonization issues: extensibility of codelists by data providers may result in duplicate entries. A set of suggestions for changes of the DS SO will be discussed to resolve the identified shortcomings.


Topic Area:  [2.6] Challenges in creating spatial environmental (reference) data sets
Abstract Type:  Oral Presentation

Additional fields

Comments:   Soil; Earth Science Cluster

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