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Pages home > INSPIRE Forum Newsletter December 2013 > First ISA Spatial Information and Services Working Group

First ISA Spatial Information and Services Working Group

Bridging Interoperability Islands: First ISA Spatial Information and Services Working Group meeting

image On the 16th to the 17th of October, the European Environment Agency in Copenhagen hosted the first meeting of the Spatial Information and Services Working Group under the Commission-driven Interoperability Solutions for European Public Administrations (ISA) Programme. The meeting was an opportunity to formally bring together the INSPIRE and e-government communities, to share experiences from practice and provide guidance for A Reusable INSPIRE Reference Platform (ARE3NA) and Towards a European Union Location Framework (EULF), two ISA Actions managed by the EC Joint Research Centre. 

With focus areas of interoperability, openness, reuse and collaboration, ARE3NA’s objective is to share reusable components for INSPIRE implementation while supporting interoperability in cross-border/cross-sector contexts. At the same time, the EULF is developing a strategic EU-wide, cross-sector interoperability framework for the exchange and sharing of location data and services. Together, they address all four levels of the European Interoperability Framework (in terms of legal & organizational (EULF) and semantic & technological (ARE3NA) perspectives) by sharing best practices, guidelines, technologies and an overall framework for location. The meeting was an opportunity to share current evidence, present progress, seek further inputs and ensure the Actions’ plans meet Member States’ needs, while introducing related European Commission (EC) activities.

Adopting a workshop approach, the meeting saw active participation from 19 countries as well as attendance by three EC services. Following initial presentations about INSPIRE and ISA, experiences of integrating location in cross-sector interoperability by Denmark and Germany were shared with the participants. Progress in this context can be seen in terms of Danish guidelines for modelling base data anchored in INSPIRE, a geocoding service in Germany that will guarantee the consistent use of georeferencing throughout public administrations and mechanisms in France to harvest INSPIRE metadata as a contribution to their open data portal. Challenges were also recognised, including the need to build bridges between spatial data infrastructure islands to help address institutional and personal resistance to change, financial issues and some organisations’ needs to address competing geospatial and e-government standards. In some cases, data need to be shared via INSPIRE and e-government approaches, leading to duplicating efforts and limited interoperability through details being lost in order to fulfil the needs of different data schemas.  As well as being topics close to the interests of ARE3NA and the EULF, participants welcomed the creation of the Working Group, recognising the potential of a forum to share such experiences and explore approaches to address them.

In addition, INSPIRE stakeholders were invited to become involved in DG CNECT’s work, including the European Open Data Portal and the Pan-European Open Data Portal, as well as support for G8 Commitments to increase the quality, quantity and re-use of open data (with Action Plans due for publication in October). Similarly the INSPIRE community is invited to contribute to the consultation on Public Sector Information (PSI) Guidelines for Licensing conditions; for Charging; and for Dataset re-use, as a result of the recent review of the PSI Directive (Deadline for contributions 22 November 2013; Public hearing 25 November 2013 in Luxembourg).

The meeting has helped to set both the scene and the tone for an active Working Group, introduce the plans for the two ISA Actions and exchange information of interest to participants. Specifically, it has allowed the EULF to hand over the first version of its vision document to key stakeholders [see 3]and invite further inputs, including through a workshop in Budapest on the 11th of December 2013. Similarly, ARE3NA has been able to show progress on developing missing items, including the open source Re3gistry software, with its active survey allowing everyone to provide basic information about the software (and guidelines) being used to support INSPIRE implementation (outputs will soon be published) and details from INSPIRE and e-government communities to indicate where other development opportunities lie of interest to both communities. A virtual meeting of the Working Group is planned for early December to follow up on this work, with another meeting being planned for early 2014.

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Last updated 1287 days ago by loizos