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Dutch best practice for publishing metadata about geographic information as Linked Data

Marco Brattinga and Ine de Visser

(Submission #140)


The use of linked data for publishing information about open datasets is becoming more and more a common practice, following initiatives of the open government movement and the strong encouragement of the European Union to use linked data (DCAT-AP) to support interoperability with the European Data Portal ( Following the INSPIRE directive, the geospatial community already has a strong commitment and standard practice to publish metadata about geographic information, following ISO19115 and ISO19139 with the INSPIRE technical guidelines for implementing dataset (and service) metadata ( An ISA2 initiative in 2015 has resulted in the publication of GeoDCAT AP, as an extension on the general linked data DCAT AP, to facility the publication of ISO 19115 and INSPIRE metadata as linked data. As part of the project to implement the new INSPIRE technical guidelines of 2017 in the Dutch metadata profile on ISO 19115, we have created a Dutch application profile for DCAT that builds upon the GeoDCAT AP. Our goal was to create a complete and accurate mapping from the new Dutch INSPIRE-metadata profile (version 2.0) to a DCAT application profile that itself would conform to the GeoDCAT AP. As such we can publish the ISO19115 compliant metadata from 225 INSPIRE datasets and 10.000 geospatial non-INSPIRE datasets as linked data. One of the challenges we faced was the complexity of the different standards, and the lack of a structured model of the standards that could be used to align the different standards. Following work done by the joinup semantic interoperability community, we have created a linked data SHACL model for both the INSPIRE metadata profile and the GeoDCAT application profile, which enabled us to make a machine-readable comparison between the different profiles. Using these results, we were able to create a best practices document that describes in detail the transformation of INSPIRE metadata to linked data GeoDCAT AP compliant metadata. In a lot of cases, we were actually able to reverse the transformation: creating valid ISO19115 metadata from our GeoDCAT AP metadata. The resulting 100% proof of the correctness of our document with regard to the SHACL model has already payed of the original investment. It is our expectation that the pay-off will only increase whenever new versions of the profiles and standards will inevitably be created in the future.


Topic Area:  [3.5] Best practices
Abstract Type:  Oral Presentation

Additional Fields

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

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