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Common Geographical Grid System for raster data - A pending challenge of INSPIRE & Copernicus

During the Workshop "Implementation and potential of INSPIRE coverage data and WCS", organized on 30th September by Thematic Cluster #3 during the past INSPIRE Conference 2016 (Barcelona), it was reminded again one of the pending and most important challenges that INSPIRE & Copernicus are both facing nowadays: the crucial need for setting up a Common Geographical Grid System to be used as a geo-referencing framework for (sharing, using, and/or producing? ...)  INSPIRE raster data in an harmonized way - Worth to remember here what was stated in the INSPIRE Technical Guidelines on Elevation: "it would be highly desirable that all the themes with similar needs make use of the same geographical grid system in order to maintain their coherence".

This workshop activity, structured in 2 Sessions of 90 minutes each, was mainly oriented to explain and discuss the most relevant issues for implementing coverage data and related services. Secondly, to promote the knowledge and potential about such kind of data and WCS services.

However, in Session 2 we counted with the valuable intervention of Peter Strobl (Joint Research Centre / European Commission), who gave a the presentation "Challenges of INSPIRE & Copernicus" (Presentation / Video).

This was a nice overview about the pending challenge mentioned above.

From a previous discussion topic "Usability of the 'Zoned Geographic Grid' (Grid_ETRS89-GRS80)" - and worth to mention: one of the most active ones in the Thematic Clusters platform! - we are in a position to state that:

1) Its clear that the proposal of the INSPIRE common "Zoned Geographical Grid" has not been implemented by the Member States, because some of its characteristics makes it difficult to do so. Despite of it, it is recognized as a valuable attempt to deal with the challenge of setting up a common grid for sharing INSPIRE raster data.

2) We have collected a list of (at least) 3 candidate proposals for stablishing a Common Geographical Grid System for sharing INSPIRE raster data:

- Nested Grid based on WMTS: OGC standard adapted on Web-Mercator based tiling (similar to Google Maps, Microsoft Live Map).

- EQUI7: TU Vienna’s multiple projection package based on continental plates (optimised for Sentinel 1 processing).

- DGGS: Discrete Global Grid Systems: a new generic OGC standard for global hierarchical tessellations.

I propose now to concentrate our efforts in this new topic in order to discuss about the benefits and drawbacks of each of these proposals, with the idea of selecting the best option for establishing the Common Geographical Grid System that we really need for sharing INSPIRE raster data.

During the 29th Meeting of the INSPIRE MIG-T in Ispra (19-20 April 2016) it was explained the need and proposed the possibility to organize a dedicated workshop to deal with this INSPIRE & Copernicus challenge. This will be promoted as a future activity in the scope of this cluster.

Now your turn for discussion!



  • Jordi ESCRIU

    As announced in this news post, the JRC is organizing the workshop “Global Reference Grid Systems for Big Geospatial Data” - on 11-12 July 2017 - to discuss about this topic, specifically focusing on the following questions:

    • What are the costs and limitations of the current state of the art of global grids with respect to efficiency (storage and processing) and interoperability?

    • Is more convergence of global grid systems desirable and how can it be achieved?

    • Is a unique hierarchical global grid system (at least within domains such as COPERNICUS/INSPIRE?) realistic and what would be the major gains?

    • How to address the standardisation and certification of possible solution(s)?

    Despite this is not an open event, the members of the Thematic Cluster are invited to discuss and share their views in the present discussion topic.

    All the feedback collected from the community will be taken into account in this activity - Please participate!

    Please, see more information within the attached document.

    Workshop on "Global Reference Grid Systems for Big Geospatial Data" - Proposal

Elevation, Ortho & Grids

Elevation, Ortho & Grids

INSPIRE Thematic Cluster Elevation, Orthoimagery, Reference systems, Geographical grids - Join this group to share your knowkledge, learn and collaborate in solving issues related to the Elevation, Orthoimagery, Reference systems and Geographical grids themes