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GeoData World Versus Open Data World: how to deal with “competing” Metadata Standards and Systems

Geraldine Nolf

(Submission #335)


In Flanders (Belgium) innovation and development of eGov initiatives have led to the present situation where two data portals co-exist: a geoportal (for geographic datasets, dataset series, services and applications) and a portal for general open data, services and applications. Many governments in Europe currently find themselves in a similar situation. Both the GeoData world and the Open Data world are following their own rules, regulations, and best practices to detail the metadata of their products. The Flemish Open Data Portal uses the DCAT-AP standard for metadata, CKAN and TheDataTank as systems to manage the meta(data), and CKAN as the component to visualize the metadata and its data in the Open Data Portal. The geographic world uses ISO/INSPIRE and the SDI-Flanders Best Practices as standards for metadata, GeoNetwork as system to encode the metadata, and a combination of Sitecore and MapApps as components to visualize the metadata and its data in the geoportal Data that is both open and has a spatial component is described only once, in the geographic metadata system using ISO/INSPIRE standards and is subsequently harvested and transformed into the DCAT-AP standard, with a CKAN visualisation, by the Open Data Portal. In January 2016 the Flemish Government merged the organisations dealing with the Geographic world and the Open Data world (Flanders Geographical Information Agency (AGIV) and the Public Governance Policy Area (BZ) respectively) into the Agency for Information in Flanders. This decision triggered both worlds to search for synergies and initiate far reaching cooperation. The search for simplification, cost saving, complementarity, overlap, … began. But how? To find out how this could best be achieved a comparative study was initiated. Its aim is to compare both the Geographic and the Open Data approach towards their respective metadata solutions. This research focuses on three levels: standards, metadata management systems and portals. The results of the study are crucial with regards to the simplification of the current infrastructure towards a more cost effective and simplified future implementation. In addition, we hope that by closing the metadata gap between the Geographic and the Open Data world, we will clear the road for incorporating other types of data, e.g. statistical data, or documents and archival information. The results can help other organisations in more efficiently dealing with the same metadata standards and systems.


Topic Area:  [2.4] INSPIRE + Open Data + COPERNICUS
Abstract Type:  Oral Presentation

Additional fields

Comments:   Keywords: metadata, geographical information, geospatial, open data, ISO standard, INSPIRE Directive, INSPIRE Implementing Rules, DCAT-AP standard, CKAN, metadata repository, metadata profile, metadata system, portal, AGIV, BZ, Agency for Information in Flanders, Flanders, Belgium Technical Areas most applicable: [2] Enabling framework: INSPIRE o[2.2] Technologies and tools required to deliver INSPIRE o[2.4] INSPIRE + Open Data o[2.5] Spatial and non-spatial data o[2.10] Challenges and approaches to standardization of data and interoperability of systems.

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