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Experiences and challenges with INSPIRE Transport Networks-related information in the ITS domain

Knut Jetlund

(Submission #163)


Geospatial information representing road networks and restrictions have been used in applications for route planning and vehicle navigation for decades. Such information is an important foundation for location based services and applications in personal mobile devices, and is becoming even more important in Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) for driver assistance and autonomous driving in vehicles. ITS applications in vehicles need to combine geospatial information from various sources, among them commercial map providers, vehicle manufacturers, in-vehicle sensors, other vehicles, road infrastructure, and authoritative information from road authorities. Each source need to provide information in a way that receiving systems can validate and understand, both in terms of what the information represents, and of how the location references relate to the real world. To achieve this, standardization and harmonization of information models, location referencing methods and exchange specifications is a crucial element.

Several International and European standards and specifications dealing with geospatial road-related information have been developed by standardization committees in ISO and CEN, and in INSPIRE with the Data Specification on Transport Networks. This paper presents a comprehensive overview and comparison of relevant standards and specifications from the domains of geographic information (GIS) and ITS, identifies interoperability challenges, and recommend further research activities.

The findings indicate that the separated development of information models and exchange formats by committees and working groups in the two domains leads to challenges for interoperability, because of differences in modelling techniques and interpretations of the real world. For example, the INSPIRE Data Specifications and other systems used by road authorities are based on the ISO/TC211 UML profile for modelling geographic information, while the systems that shall receive this authoritative information on the ITS side are using standards with different information models, developed by ISO/TC204 and CEN/TC278. The senders and receivers of information will need to handle the different information models and exchange formats from the two domains.

The recommended research activities includes methods for establishing common or connected information models for standards from the two domains. For example, an information model from the ITS domain – the CEN/TC278 DATEX II specification for traffic management and information – can be transformed according to ISO/TC211 and INSPIRE principles for information modelling, and be integrated with the INSPIRE Transport Networks specification. Information based on the DATEX II specification can then be combined with information based on the INSPIRE Transport Networks specification.


Topic Area:  [2.6] Cooperation on standardization
Abstract Type:  Oral Presentation and paper in IJSDIR

Additional Fields

Academic:   Yes
Data Provider:   No
Data User:   Yes
INSPIRE Implementer (IT):   No
INSPIRE newbies:   No
Policy Officers:   No
Public Administration (MS/Regional/Local):   Yes
Thematic specialists:   Yes
Comments:   The abstract may also be relevant for other topic areas: 1.10 Transport - Mobility 3.2 Tools and technologies 3.4 Fitnes for purpose

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