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Spatial Data on the Web - tools and guidance for data providers

Clemens Portele, Andreas Zahnen, Michael Lutz and Alexander Kotsev

(Submission #142)


Spatial Data Infrastructures (SDIs) based on OGC standards provide a rich and powerful set of capabilities to discover, access, process and edit spatial data. Understanding the different service interfaces and encodings, and their relationships, can be an obstacle in particular for developers that are not GIS experts or that cannot spend enough time to learn how to use the SDI. In addition, the web has evolved since the key OGC web services standards have been designed and so have expectations of web developers.

To address this, W3C and OGC have been collaborating to document the current best practices for sharing spatial data in a web-friendly way. The key results are captured in the documents “Data on the Web Best Practice” (W3C) and “Spatial Data on the Web Best Practice” (W3C/OGC).

The following best practices are particularly relevant for making SDIs aligned with current practices: * Use globally unique persistent HTTP URIs for features. This is already a recommendation in INSPIRE, but rarely followed by current implementations. * Make your spatial data indexable by search engines. Discovering INSPIRE data should not require the use of a geoportal and it should be possible to browse the data that is presented in a clear and understandable way without additional tools. * Expose data through RESTful, easy-to-use, well-documented APIs, supporting multiple formats and simple queries. * Publish the data in WGS 84, too, as this is the basis of many spatial data tools and APIs on the Web.

The presentation reports about two complementary activities in this context: * An analysis how the best practices and tools for sharing Spatial Data on the Web could complement the existing INSPIRE technical guidelines along with recommendations how to remove obstacles that limit the discovery, access and use of INSPIRE data. * Improvements to and experiments with the ldproxy tool that supports publishing spatial data on the web according to the best practices. The tool provides a proxy layer on top of existing Web Feature Services in the INSPIRE infrastructure.

This work is being executed in the scope of the EU’s ISA2 Programme, where the EC Joint Research Centre is leading the new ELISE Action, addressing several interoperability issues related to geospatial data and services. ELISE has launched new activities to improve the discoverability, accessibility and usability of INSPIRE services, building on Geonovum’s Geo4Web testbed from 2016.


Topic Area:  [2.8] 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)
Abstract Type:  Oral Presentation

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