INSPIRE Data Specifications Special Interest Group

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Group discussion > Human health and safety

Human health and safety

2683 days ago

The INSPIRE Drafting Team for Data Specifications has drafted the description and scope for the theme 'Human health and safety'.

Is there any European initiative or obligation in your country with a particular requirement related to this theme? We invite you to provide your comments on this description and scope, providing the rationale for any changes you propose and uploading related material if possible.

The INSPIRE Thematic Working Groups, who will elaborate the guidance documents as a base for the INSPIRE Implementing Rules and support for the implementation, will use these discussions as a basis for their work.

Note: Related material can be uploaded to the files section. Please use the title of the discussion as one of the tags for the file.


469 days ago



The European Noise Directive (END) EC/2002/49 obliges all member states to report their environmental noise levels each 5 years, by constructing so-called “strategic noise maps”. This is done by combining a variety of spatial data on noise emission and noise attenuation in a spatially-explicit noise propagation model (no measurements!), from which the output consists of spatial raster images with a horizontal resolution of 10 meters (single grid cell = 10x10m). In most member states, the data produced for the END is categorized as INSPIRE theme “human health & safety” (HH; Annex III.5), but for instance French and English noise maps are categorized in a different theme.


I would like to inform you about some potential drawbacks and caveats in the current Data Specifications of the HH theme (v3.0). From the HH data specifications v3.0 paragraph 2.2 (informal description), 5 components in HH are considered:

o    Health statistical data on diseases, poisoning, injuries, etc., and data on general health status in a population, such as self-perceived health, people with health problems, smokers, etc.

o    Biomarkers (general health data)

o    Determinants of health (environmental health determinants a.k.a. envhealth)

o    Health care/services data, for example on services provided by hospitals, health care workforce, etc

o    Safety


We can assume that the directive 2002/49 (END) is situated in the third component, being environmental health determinants, since it is explicitly mentioned in the respective description ["Noise data (Directive 2002/49/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 June 2002 relating to the assessment and management of environmental noise)."].

From the EnvHealthDeterminant Diagram, we have 3 options to spatially represent the data (section, :

Health determinant data are represented as:

1.       Raw measurement data located somewhere.

2.       Statistical aggregation of these raw measurement data reported on some statistical units

3.       (continuous?) Coverages resulting from an interpolation of these raw measurement data.

In all 3 options, the data is regarded as "measurement data", which is fundamentally wrong for the END (EC/2002/49) since it concerns modelled data.


Furthermore, I suppose there are mainly 2 ways to distribute the model output, corresponding with 2 data types:

·         “raw” model output, i.e. spatial raster images, for instance as GeoTIFF files [.tif]

·         “simplified” model output, by calculating noise iso-lines (contours) with e.g. 5dB intervals, to result in polylines or polygons as for instance vector shapefiles [.shp]

Both ways are common among the member states (and their respective responsible institutes/agencies that effectively produce and publish these data).

Therefore my final question, could it please become possible to have an adapted or new data model for spatially-explicit modelled noise data? With the possibility for a reporting both data types (raster/vector) ?

I think it is really important to have a common approach for all member states, especially for the next reporting round of the European Noise Directive (EC/2002/49). First of all, the fact that some member states have a different Inspire data theme for the strategic noise maps, will already result in large differences of data specifications. But also for the MS that use the Human Health theme, it should be clear how to use the UML/GML data models for their published noise maps.


Best regards,

And thanks in advance,


Tom Akkermans


Vlaamse overheid


Afdeling Lucht, Hinder, Risicobeheer, Milieu & Gezondheid

02 553 62 55

Koning Albert II-laan 20 bus 8, 1000 Brussel


Marc Leobet
469 days ago

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In France, we consider that the HH theme is only focused on pathologies and effect on health, without including causes, as the Directive states :

« Geographical distribution of dominance of pathologies, information indicating the effect on health or well-being of humans linked directly or indirectly to the quality of the environment. ».


We have noted that Stratégic noise maps belong to the theme : « Areas managed, regulated or used for reporting at international, European, national, regional and local levels », that is area where a regulation requires a specific management.


By the way, the State institution for standardisation, the COVADIS, has just finished a call for comments about a « noise standard » which would be published on the beginning of 2016.

The COVADIS starts a other standard about data inputs for noise maps.

Marc Leobet

Ministry in charge of environment

Spatial data office