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Towards a Methodology to evaluate the practical interoperability of SDI Geoportals

Antonio F. Rodríguez, Paloma Abad, Alejandra Sánchez, Marta Juanatey and Ana Cevidanes

(Submission #230)


In this communication, we present a methodology for the verification of the named “practical interoperability” of geoportals and we show the global results of an experience of applications to the NSDI geoportals in EU. This methodology is based on previous studies of geoportals of Europe, Spain and America, on the fifteen years of experience gained in the SDI team of CNIG (National Centre for Geographic Information) of Spain, and on an enquiry among a wide group of national and international experts consulted. Until now, a big attention and considerable efforts have been dedicated to standardize the data, metadata and web services of a SDI, but we think that little attention has been paid to the geoportals and client applications exploiting those services. Therefore, it would be wise now to try to define objective criteria for the evaluation of the harmonization and interoperability of geoportals, in order to contribute to its optimization with technical criteria oriented to its interoperability and usability. Inspire Directive (2007/2/CE) defines an Inspire geoportal as an Internet site, or equivalent, providing access to the five type of services referred to in the Directive. Moreover, a NSDI geoportal is a key-resource in a NSDI because plays the role of main point of entrance into the SDI of a country and the visible face of the resources composing the SDI. We understand for practical interoperability of a geoportal, the degree of its interoperability defined by a set of convenient indicators established because of the experience and knowledge of a group of experts in the field of SDIs. It covers and synthetises from a very practical and empiric point of view some aspects of syntactic, semantic and organizational interoperability We describe the methodology designed for this purpose, based on a set of indicators, we describe also very briefly how to apply them and we inform about the global results obtained applying this methodology to the national SDI geoportals in Europe and the Inspire geoportal, in order to evaluate its practical interoperability. The final objective is to identify improvement opportunities and to contribute to its optimization. Finally, we outline some conclusions trying to balance the effort and resources needed and the potential benefits of the possible corrective actions derived of the performed analysis. Therefore, it would be possible to design an Action Plan prioritizing the activities with a bigger impact in the interoperability of geoportals and a lower cost.


Topic Area:  [2.3] Technologies and tools to support implementing, using and assessing the technical implementation of INSPIRE
Abstract Type:  Oral Presentation

Additional Fields

Comments:   SDI, geoportals, interoperability, practical interoperability, usability

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