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INSPIRE Community Forum

Action 2019.2: Improving accessibility of data sets through network services

By Jordi ESCRIU

Action 2019.2: Improving accessibility of data sets through network services

Summary & Scope

The new INSPIRE Geoportal and the proposed revision of the monitoring and reporting Implementing Rules are following a data-centric approach, which focuses on data sets and how they can be accessed through network services rather than considering data and network services as stand-alone components of the infrastructure.
However, the current level of accessibility of data sets through view and download services is very low. One reason for this are problems with implementing data-service linking. The approach currently described in the TGs for metadata and network services is considered complicated and partly ambiguous, even by implementation/standards experts, and many organisations are facing difficulties to provide implementations in line with these requirements.
This already has negative impacts on the overall usability of the INSPIRE infrastructure and will also lead to poor indicators in the future (metadata-based) approach for monitoring and reporting (action 2018.1).
Furthermore, the current approach for service metadata, which requires extensions to base standards, is posing an obstacle to the implementation of INSPIRE requirements for network services (because the required extensions are not widely implemented in off-the-shelf software). Furthermore, there is a clear overlap / duplication of data set and service metadata (e.g. bounding box, INSPIRE theme), which in some cases leads to inconsistencies and hence ambiguity which metadata is the "source of truth".

This INSPIRE MIG action is aimed to investigate the issues causing the low level of data availability. It shall also test and further elaborate the alternative approach for documenting data-service linking in the data set metadata (as proposed in the discussion paper DOC7 presented to the 9th MIG meeting) and propose corresponding changes or additions in relevant technical guidelines. The action shall also advise the Commission on whether the proposed simplifications would require changes in the IRs or whether they could be implemented by other means and propose a roadmap (or Common Implementation Strategy) for implementation of the new approach.

Expected outcomes:

• Improved accessibility of data sets in the INSPIRE Geoportal.
• Updated technical guidelines for metadata, view and download services.
• Implementation roadmap (or Common Implementation Strategy).

Specific objectives

Phase 1 (January – June 2019)

  • Further investigate and document the issues causing the low level of data accessibility (through the Geoportal workshop in January 2019 and follow-up analyses)
  • Jointly work on improving data accessibility in the INSPIRE Geoportal (through changes in national discovery services and/or the EU Geoportal) following the current approach.
  • Test the proposed simplified approach for data-service linking (Member States metadata & services and INSPIRE Geoportal).
  • Report status and propose follow-up actions to MIG meeting in June 2019.

Phase 2 (July – December 2019)

  • Draft change proposals to technical guidelines for metadata, view and download services (and/or a stand-alone technical guidelines document on data-service linking).
  • Analyse whether the proposed simplifications would require changes in the Implementing Rules.
  • Propose an implementation roadmap (or Common Implementation Strategy).
  • Implement support for the simplified approach of data-service linking in the INSPIRE Geoportal.
  • Final status report at MIG meeting in December 2019.

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