From 23-27 April, more than 3 500 participants will attend the Geospatial World Forum at the RAI Convention Centre, in Amsterdam (NL). The theme of the forum is “Geospatial Industry and World Economy”. It will address the utility of geospatial technologies in various industries that contribute to the world economy. Quick and easy access to data related to a variety of domains, including water management, disaster mitigation, statistics, public health, civil protection, agriculture and nature protection, will improve business opportunities and help reduce costs of public administrations. This will also translate into clear benefits for the citizen, ranging from improved emergency services to a healthier everyday environment.
Over the past number of years the JRC has developed expertise in geospatial technologies. It will be a strategic partner in and provide scientific support during the Forum. For example, IES scientist A. Annoni will chair the session on Public Private Partnership for Spatial Data Infrastructures (SDIs). During seminar entitled Digital Agenda for Europe, IES scientist F.Pignatelli will present the JRC contribution to the development of a European Union Location Framework (EULF), which is based on INSPIRE (Infrastructure for Spatial Information in Europe) principles and on the European Interoperability Framework.
A report entitled A Conceptual Model for Developing Interoperability Specifications in Spatial Data Infrastructures has been published for the event by the European Commission's in-house science service, the Joint Research Centre (JRC). This report shows how geographic and environmental information created and maintained by hundreds of different organisations can be brought together and harmonised for optimal use in today's information society.
Based on the unique and challenging experience of helping to further the INSPIRE initiative, the report describes a conceptual framework which is robust enough to reinforce the interoperability of spatial data from 27 countries in 23 languages across 34 thematic fields. Since 2005, INSPIRE has been successfully pioneering the development and maintenance of such a unique common data infrastructure through innovative tools and meticulous documentation.
The report provides a comprehensive overview of the data components of SDIs and describes how to achieve interoperability, i.e.
The report is a valuable reference guide for decision makers, public administrations and scientists for the definition and implementation of data harmonisation frameworks.
The JRC has recently released the first version of the INSPIRE Geoportal, which allows users to access spatial and environmental data from many different sources across Europe in one single search. The fact that different actors will now have access to the same information is particularly useful in dealing with emergencies that involve many different actors, such as, large forest fires or cross-border rescue operations. It will also support collaborative efforts to prevent environmental damage and compare and reduce energy consumption across different sectors and countries.
The information available through the INSPIRE Geoportal is linked to geographical areas, and can often be displayed in map format. The associated metadata (for instance, a description of the purpose for which the data was obtained or the conditions governing its use and access) is available in multiple languages. This allows users to find out if the data or service they require exists, are available for use and are suitable for their requirements. Fifteen EU countries have already provided more than 200 000 searchable records.
The INSPIRE Directive came into force on 15 May 2007 and will be implemented in various stages, with full implementation required by 2019. It aims to create a pan-European spatial data infrastructure which enables the sharing of spatial information among public sector organisations and facilitates public access to spatial information across Europe.
Once adopted, the INSPIRE standards will facilitate cross-border integration and analysis of environmental data, modelling, and forecasting activities in many policy areas.
Studies have shown that INSPIRE will make it more efficient and easier to carry out environmental impact assessments. It will bring improved business opportunities and will also create synergies between public administrations.
For more information: