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INSPIRE Spatial Data on the Web – building a user-friendly ‘webby’ SDI

Linda van den Brink and Friso Penninga

(Submission #364)


On the occasion of Geonovum´s 10th anniversary we have written a white paper ( in which we looked back at developing the set of standards that act as backbone of the Dutch Spatial Data Infrastructure. In light of a number of trends and technological developments, we asked whether the current set of standards is still sufficient. We identified five relevant trends: 3D geo-information, sensor data, linked data, users outside the traditional geospatial community, and data platforms (multichannel).

These trends are expected to impact the standards within the Dutch SDI in several ways: Application of linked data concepts at the meta model level. The Dutch Base model Geo-information is being extended for publishing geo-information as linked data. Common concepts from data models should be linked, including relationships with other, common vocabularies, such as This increases the 'linkability’ of data, the use (through increased discoverability) and the usability (better understanding of the meaning). Criteria for exchange formats:

  1. geometry types: Simple Feature + arcs
  2. 3D support: solids
  3. multiple CRS
  4. schema to capture semantics and structure Only GML meets all criteria. Lighter exchange standards (e.g. GeoJSON and GeoPackage) do not meet all criteria. Hence, we currently see no generic alternative for GML. Although we believe that GML is still suitable for defining exchange formats within a production chain, for instance providing data to a national data warehouse, data users are increasingly asking for lighter formats. The largest impact is on providing data which currently relies on GML downloads and WMS, WFS services. We see the need for REST convenience APIs (e.g. WFS3.0) and recommend to follow (Spatial) Data on the Web Best Practices. We strongly support the evolution towards RESTful OGC standards, lighter encodings including HTML. For 3D viewing we see the need for 3D portrayal services with 3D Tiling/i3S, and 3D download services offering CityGML and CityJSON (under development). ISO-compliant metadata will remain dominant for now due to the INSPIRE requirements. Alignment of DCAT, ISO, CKAN and INSPIRE is needed. We believe these trends and impact on standards are also valid for the INSPIRE SDI. We identify the following steps for INSPIRE:

    • apply linked data principles to the semantic models

    • provide RESTful versions of the current services alongside existing versions

    • specify alternative, lighter encodings to be used alongside GML

    • seek further alignment of DCAT, ISO, CKAN and INSPIRE metadata.


Topic Area:  [3.1] Making INSPIRE work in 2025
Abstract Type:  Oral Presentation

Additional Fields

Academic:   No
Data Provider:   Yes
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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