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Code-lists for the water environment: Aquo as a best practice

Edwin Wisse and Joan Staeb

(Submission #208)


In this presentation we will present our process for standardization and offer our views on the necessity for joint standardization process.

Within Inspire and the EU we use a data model to describe and share our data. Within the data model we use code-lists to limit the actual values to an agreed set. These code-lists are external to the Inspire directive but the code-lists are of vital importance for the specification of information within the Inspire framework. For reporting within the framework of different EU directives the user is referred to a number of partly overlapping code-lists. These code-lists are not managed by a single authority and thus not in a consistent manner. We experience a lack of international harmonization on code lists for both the marine (annex III-theme 15 and Marine strategy framework directive art 19.3) and fresh/inland water environment (water framework directive).

Within the Netherlands water management authorities have established a common semantic standard for the environmental data: Aquo. Aquo was defined out of necessity: different water authorities had to report their data in a consistent manner. The Aquo standard covers information models for water quality measurements, water system and dike geography. It includes a comprehensive set of code-lists and definitions of terms. It is managed in a formal year-long process in which thematic and technical experts are consulted on proposed changes to the standard. The standard is established in the Netherlands as one of the standards in the national standards system by the Forum Standaardisatie (forum for standardization). In our view the Aquo standard management process can be regarded as a best practice for standards management.

The challenge facing us now is how to fit in our standard with the standards in other countries. We have made progress on the harmonisation of information models level thanks to OGC standards. We now have to make a similar effort to build our code-lists and vocabularies on a common standard. By linking our code-lists and vocabularies to a common set. The management of a common set as a standard will require coordination on a European level. This talk will go into the standards management process (and why that is useful) and will present some ideas for (further) connecting national code-lists in an international context.


Topic Area:  [2.1] National approaches and strategies
Abstract Type:  Oral Presentation and paper in IJSDIR

Additional Fields

Academic:   No
Data Provider:   No
Data User:   No
INSPIRE Implementer (IT):   No
INSPIRE newbies:   No
Policy Officers:   No
Public Administration (MS/Regional/Local):   Yes
Thematic specialists:   No
Comments:   water, standard, standardisation, code-lists, vocabulary, Aquo, Netherlands

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