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What can bring MapML to the INSPIRE community

Joan Maso and Peter Rushforth

(Submission #318)


INSPIRE has been successful in bringing together the member states and creating a body of data and information that is useful for public administrations in Europe. However, INSPIRE has failed to connect to the European citizens at large. INSPIRE catalogues and viewing services are not perceived as an integral part of the web because are difficult to discover from web browsers. In Canada, Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) is offering several resources in several way also including Map Markup Language (MapML) Services ( This communication proposes to explore what possibilities brings MapML to the INSPIRE following the same approach that NRCan is offering. From our point of view, MapML can complement the current viewing services making maps more accessible to the general public.

Map Markup Language (MapML) is a project initiated by the W3C Maps for HTML Community Group. The objective is that MapML becomes a native format to describe maps in the web. A map can currently be embedded in a web page by means of the HTML element. However, such a map is essentially static: it only allows the HTML author to draw hyperlinks over shapes on a static image. Maps should allow us to interact with map content in a way that is more interesting. To be able to do this, a new child element is introduced to the element in the form of the element. A element allows pointing to a MapML document describing content of a map layer. Multiple layers can be included in a single map, each by means of its own URL. A similar construct is used for the HTML

After two consecutive years of experimentation in the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) Testbeds, the MapML community has the intention of proposing MapML for standardization process in a joined initiative between the W3C and the OGC. If the INSPIRE community joins these efforts there is a greater chance of a global adoption.


Topic Area:  [3.2] Tools and technologies
Abstract Type:  Speed Presentation (5')

Additional Fields

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

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