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FAQ about Core Data and INSPIRE

dominique laurent and François Chirié

(Submission #108)


The first question may just be “What is Core Data?” It is an initiative and a concept coming from UN-GGIM: Europe: core data is defined as priority geographic data to analyse, achieve and monitor the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The second question is generally like “We already have INSPIRE. Why Core Data? ». INSPIRE aims to harmonise existing data by mandating common data structure and therefore provides a first level of interoperability. However, data will remain heterogeneous as level of detail is not specified, as most attributes are voidable, …. Core data aims to ensure minimum data content by defining priorities for production of new data or enhancement of existing data. The third question is more technic: “what are the commonalities and differences between INSPIRE and Core Data?” INSPIRE provides a common terminology and a very good starting point to the core data initiative. In a first first phase, 14 core data themes were selected select among the 34 INSPIRE themes. The “recommendations for content of core data themes” are widely based on the INSPIRE data specifications but they differ on two main topics: the process in the data flow and the Universe of Discourse.

• Different processes INSPIRE data specifications aim to ensure interoperability of existing data, mainly by mandating common exchange protocols: they deal with the delivery phase. Core data “recommendations for content” aim to ensure minimum data content, by defining priorities: they deal with the production phase. In practice, the “recommendations for content” are a profile of INSPIRE data specifications, generally by highlighting the INSPIRE features and attributes considered as priority ones and by adding quality requirements, e.g. elaborating on the expected level(s) of detail, geographic extent and other quality requirements.

• Different Universes of Discourse INSPIRE aims is related to environmental policies whereas core data is about sustainable development, including its three aspects: environment, society and economy. In practice, core data recommendations for content extend the scope of some INSPIRE themes and consequently, some code lists. The last question may be more practical :« Will Core Data be implemented?” In absolute, there is no guarantee as the core data deliverables are only recommendations and not legal obligations. Data producers might implement them because they find the recommendations relevant (what is ensured by a review phase). These recommendations might also be pushed by other stakeholders, such as the statistic community, EuroGeographics or even by the European Commission.


Topic Area:  [2.2] International cooperation at EU/EFTA/EEA level
Abstract Type:  Oral Presentation

Additional Fields

Academic:   Yes
Data Provider:   Yes
Data User:   Yes
INSPIRE Implementer (IT):   No
INSPIRE newbies:   Yes
Policy Officers:   Yes
Public Administration (MS/Regional/Local):   Yes
Thematic specialists:   Yes

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