INSPIRE Knowledge Base

Good Practice Library

Good Practice documents endorced by the MIG

Title Published Date
GeoDCAT-AP Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Good Practice Documents

The development of INSPIRE foresaw the creation of an initial set of legally-binding Implementing Rules (IRs) and Technical Guidelines (TGs). As technology evolved since INSPIRE’s creation and as experience is being gained through the implementation process, the need for new TGs emerged (e.g. for download services for observations and coverages), alongside a range of related tools that can maximise the benefits of the implementation process. These were developed in 2015 and 2016 under dedicated actions under the Maintenance and Implementation Work Programme.

At the same time, in the Thematic Clusters discussion forums, good practices for specific implementation issues (e.g. how to create persistent identifiers), opportunities offered by emerging technologies and standards (e.g. Vector Tiles, OGC SensorThings API) or extensions/profiles for specific application domains are being shared and discussed. Also, work in Member States, by solution providers or in research projects often yield interesting results that implementers in other Member States could benefit from.

At least three types of good practice can already be observed:

  1. Good practice related to INSPIRE implementation, where practitioners are extending and evolving the key elements of INSPIRE to support their communities’ needs, such as extended data models.
  2. Good practice related to tools and techniques useful for INSPIRE implementation which may not fully cover all requirements but that can help link INSPIRE with other initiatives, including the use of different encodings to share INSPIRE-related data.
  3. Good practice related to technologies that build on top of INSPIRE, but go beyond the requirements of the IRs and TGs in order to improve the usability / usefulness of the infrastructure (e.g. by sharing spatial data on the web).

In order to promote such good practices to the wider INSPIRE implementation community, a light-weight procedure was defined for proposing, documenting, reviewing and publishing such good practices. The procedure also defined how to further develop, where appropriate, a good practice into a TG. This procedure does not replace, but rather builds on existing resources to support the INSPIRE community while providing documented evidence and a defined link between current implementation practices & needs and the MIG.

Procedure for proposing & endorsing good practices

The procedure includes the following five steps:

Step1. Initiation

The procedure is initiated by a group of practitioners that would like to promote a specific implementation solution that can be beneficial for INSPIRE, as defined above. They are provided with a template to describe in "good practice fiche" the nature of the solution, the benefits it has or should provide and a reference to a detailed description of the solution, as well as a number of other "metadata". The fiche also includes evidence that the solution has been put into practice, ideally in more than one context (either more than one domain or more than one country), and that the solution has received broader support, by referring to online discussion or documentation of the activity in an appropriate publicly available resource (e.g. GitHub, Thematic Clusters platform)

Step 2. Outreach

The proponents host a webinar to explain the main features and expected benefits of the good practice solution and reflect any pertinent feedback from stakeholders in the good practice.

Step 3. Submission

The fiche is submitted by the proponents for inclusion in a good practices section in the INSPIRE Knowledge Base.

Step 4. Approval

Proposals are reviewed by the MIG-T at regular intervals (e.g. at every face-to-face meeting). MIG-T will issue an opinion and either

  1. endorse the good practice for inclusion in the good practice repository (after considering comments)
  2. ask for further clarification or improvements of the good practice
  3. reject the good practice, e.g. because it is out of scope, not relevant (for INSPIRE implementation) or not deemed a good implementation practice

Step 5. Feedback

The good practice repository will feature a user feedback function to collect detailed feedback (for improvement), but also indications on where the good practice is already used in practice. This would give implementers an idea of which good practices are particularly relevant and widely adopted.

This ‘INSPIRE incubator’ process allows all of the community to both keep abreast of technical developments relevant to INSPIRE implementation and its widespread use and to allow good practice to be introduced in a formal way for Member State and Commission consideration. In some cases, if agreed by the MIG, widely adopted good practices could also lead to the development of new or extension of existing TGs.