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Getting Inspired and Beyond @ The City of Gent

Peter Bogaert and Bart Rosseau

(Submission #332)


The city of Ghent has a long tradition in (open)data and transforming the data to information, knowledge and wisdom for policy support. Ghent also has a long tradition in European cooperation. In this context it is surprising that INSPIRE only recently came into focus. One of the main reasons is that most INSPIRE datasets are managed at the regional or federal level and not at a local level. The city of Ghent used the data but did not produce the data. A second reason is that the Ghent GIS department was a separate department. The department coordinated the use of geographical data and supported others with the management and analyses, but was not integrated in other city departments involved in data-issues. Nowadays INSPIRE is getting higher attention. One reason is the integration of the GIS department into a broader Data & Information department involved in all aspects of data management. Due to this merger the GIS people got more involved in (linked) open data and European projects like Citadel, OASIS, MUV and Polivisu. One of the key concepts in these projects and linked open data is semantics. This is where INSPIRE can help. Another reason is the concept of decentralized management of base registries which is set up for more and more datasets. The management of the data is centralized at the regional or federal level, but the data input is at the local level. Here the city is involved in co-creating the INSPIRE implementation. Thus INSPIRE is useful for common data structures, for semantics, for decentralized data management and for sharing data. Still some possible pitfalls need to be kept in mind. One possible pitfall is defining the same type of data at different European institutions, leading to confusion for data users and managers. Another pitfall is forgetting the use case how data is gathered at the local level when implementing INSPIRE. This could lead to losing the people at the base of the data pyramid. They also need to benefit from the data they input. At the city we also believe that INSPIRE should go beyond defining data. A major improvement would be trying to define interactions between the base registries and data linked to (parts) of these registries. In order to keep information stable while registries change, guidelines or tools are needed.


Topic Area:  [2.5] Local – Regional cooperation
Abstract Type:  Oral Presentation

Additional Fields

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

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