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Get ready for Annex III with environmental data. An entirely new approach to environmental data management – sustainable, scalable, expandable and interoperable. Described on a practical project to organize the data management in the environmental office of North Rhine-Westphalia.

Heino Rudolf

(Submission #239)


Introduction The time has finally come: INSPIRE is to be implemented for the environmental themes as originally planned. Up to now we have worked on the data delivery for Annex I, that means for 7 data specifications. Now we have to implement 25 themes.

Initial situation Many people are waiting for solutions to organize their data. They are very often disappointed by INSPIRE because of the complicated and incompatible data specifications. And many people are looking for a way to avoid the subject.

Annex I The implementation of Annex I generated many practical and successful experiences. Why: It fits to the survey office and therefore also for Annex I.

Annex III An example of the data management in the environmental office of North Rhine-Westphalia: • about 25 special information systems with their own complicated data structures • added with “small” applications • more than 1.000 shape files • different data deliveries: for open data, for reporting e.g. • 16 INSPIRE annexes are relevant.

In the current modelling methodology of INSPIRE we find very specific models for every theme in Annex III. This induces a patchwork of data structures. In current practice: • EITHER: create new data boxes, especially for the INSPIRE directive • OR: deliver special transformations for all applications (patchwork of processes) Let’s think this approach further to the very different environmental reporting: This cannot be the solution for the environmental data management.

The approach We must find a modelling method that is able to depict the environmental reality with its processes. The core of the approach is a theme-crossed understanding of the environmental processes. The object definition bases on a mathematical system-analysis of the ecosystem that includes an understanding of the processes in the environment. And one real object is represented as exactly one information object. All information objects can have any geometry and exists in time.

The approach does not touch the Thematic Information Systems with their specific functionalities. (It is a law!) We extract the information that is used for reports, INSPIRE or the practical cooperation between the users. We put it in a data-providing platform with a generalized data structure. Data model mirrors the operating mode of the ecological system. Structure is neither tailored to European reporting commitments nor to INSPIRE. For new requirements data model can be upgraded by objects and combines at any time.


Topic Area:  [3.2] End user applications on the use of INSPIRE with a focus on regulatory monitoring and reporting
Abstract Type:  Oral Presentation

Additional Fields

Comments:   Annex III, environmental data management, ecosystem

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