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INSPIRE: What if one would start thinking about an INSPIRE evolution?

Lars Bernard

(Submission #393)


INSPIRE: What if one would start thinking about an INSPIRE evolution? Lars Bernard, Chair of Geoinformatics, TU Dresden Imagine you – an INSPIRE expert, being quite fluent in ISO and OGC and experienced in building and using SDI – would be asked today to start an undertaking similar to INSPIRE. Similar here would mean: Similar in its main goal – which could be (possibly over-)simplified as follows: Ease the sharing of geoinformation between users from public administration, industry and academia and provide them with a set of rules, tools and in the end data in such a way that they have better support to their different monitoring and planning duties and work on reliable, seamless and coherent information sources. Having more than a decade of pleasant and less pleasant INSPIRE experiences, you could start by listing related successes and failures, for instance:
INSPIRE Successes • INSPIRE enabled an easy finding of administrative spatial data – metadata standards and catalogues established and improved transparency, and in a number of cases access to related map services is also possible. • INSPIRE – not only but also – helped in establishing an Open Data attitude within public administrations and in the easing of restricted data access policies. • INSPIRE is/was clearly one of the early movers (frontrunners?) in enabling data sharing and building frameworks for data infrastructures. INSPIRE experts today know about the complexity of such an undertaking, moreover a number of data providers and users today fully understand (in principle) why initiatives as INSPIRE are required – competence, knowledge and awareness gained in this context is an asset for establishing data infrastructures. INSPIRE Failures • INSPIRE did hardly (or not yet?) succeed in providing a (nationwide or even pan-European) reliable, coherent and seamless access to spatial data for environmental monitoring and planning and in offering data providers or data users an easy entrance to spatial data sharing and data integration. • INSPIRE today is (still?) often more seen as yet another burden than a helpful tool or undertaking and INSPIRE offerings have hardly been tightly coupled into reporting or planning applications. • Since it often falls in-between the responsibilities of national mapping agencies and national environmental agencies, INSPIRE did rarely succeed in making the case for enabling cross-sectoral data infrastructure units/ministries/departments being sufficiently empowered to moderate developments, implement required common components and enforce the rules to achieve coherence. Thinking on how to do better for a similar undertaking you would possibly come up with another list of priorities and another approach, than what we as the INSPIRE community developed more than ten years ago. Aspects of your today’s data infrastructure recipe would cover organizational and technical aspects and possibly, you start doing a frank first draft of suggestions as:
• Be humble: Tackling the EU-wide harmonization of 32(+) data topics at almost no-cost might possibly not work – either you put substantial funding or you reduce significantly the number of topics for which you want to achieve coherence and consistency. • Prioritize by topic and follow a spiral process: Start with a handful of fields (e.g. reporting about air quality, noise, water quality, traffic) and enable the infrastructure in such a way that all related reporting applications are running in the infrastructure, and then advance to other fields.
• Empower a key responsible (not only a contact point) for the infrastructure implementation. This responsible should be capable and mandated to mediate between all data providers, to enforce the provision of reliable services, and to improve the required capabilities and capacities. • Take your stand towards coherence, consistency and reliability: Either you enforce the provision of (only) n datasets for n topics, such that a dataset is the reference for the given topic, consistent with the n-1 other data sets and access and updating mechanisms are well designed and implemented - or you put less burden on the data providers and leave this task to others. However, avoid staying in-between these two options. • Offer access via easy to use mainstream technologies where ever possible, have as light-weight as possible data models and enforce identifiers and update mechanisms Would these suggestions match with your suggestions? Do these suggestions also hold for a revision of approaches in INSPIRE or would they require an INSPIRE follow-up, or…?


Topic Area:  [4.1]INSPIRE Thinking out of the box – INSPIRE innovation
Abstract Type:  Speed Presentation (5')


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