INSPIRE (Infrastructure for Spatial Information in Europe) is an initiative launched by the European Commission and developed in collaboration with EU Member States and accession countries. It aims at making available relevant, harmonized and qualitative geographic information to support formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of Community policies with a territorial dimension or impact. INSPIRE intends to trigger the creation of a European spatial data infrastructure (SDI) that delivers to the users integrated spatial information services linked by common standards and protocols. The Directive came into force on 15 May 2007 and will be implemented in various stages, with full implementation required by 2021.
The INSPIRE geoportal provides the means to search for spatial data sets and spatial data services, and subject to access restrictions, to view spatial data sets from the EU Member States within the framework of the INSPIRE Directive.
The INSPIRE Components
There are five major components:
- Metadata. Well, we know that Metadata is data and so on. Intriguing topic. The current interpretation of INSPIRE clobbered metadata long enough with ISO profiles to almost kill it.
- Network Services. Performance, uptime, bindings, etc.
- Discovery Services. Probably something like Catalog Services but it is as yet unclear why they should: ...making it possible to search for spatial data sets and services on the basis of the content of the corresponding metadata and to display the content of the metadata
- View Services. Straight forward: Digital maps served through WMS 1.3 / ISO 19128. ...making it possible, as a minimum, to display, navigate, zoom in/out, pan, or overlay viewable spatial data sets and to display legend information and any relevant content of metadata;
- Download Services. Straight forward: Digital data served through WFS 2.0 / ISO 19142) -> see this discussion ...enabling copies of spatial data sets, or parts of such sets, to be downloaded and, where practicable, accessed directly;
- Transformation Services. The original idea was that a web service would be able to transform existing data on-the-fly for further processing. This is usually done offline in the basement on number crunchers. ...enabling spatial data sets to be transformed with a view to achieving interoperability
- Services ... allowing spatial data services to be invoked. (I never really got this one?)
- Data and Service Sharing. Licenses, copyright, all the fun stuff that prevents us from using data in our software.
- Data Specification. The tricky bit is the harmonization of data that is need prior to setting up the actual service. This currently requires lots of transformations with GML 3.2.1 (and not enough software packages supporting 3.2.1 does not help either)
- Reporting and Monitoring. This is more domain specfic to EU public administrations. Not clear yet whether any software will be involved in this. But the monitoring services will be of help to control things.
Datasets in scope of INSPIRE are ones which come under one or more of INSPIRE theme. The INSPIRE Directive defines 34 spatial data themes needed for environmental applications, grouped in 3 Annexes. The themes and links to more information are listed on the INSPIRE website
There is no coordinated effort at involving OSGeo as an organization in the INSPIRE initiative but many OSGeo projects are already tied into processes and the emerging INSPIRE architecture. A formal meeting of OSGeo representatives with people (from JRC) involved in INSPIRE was planned for the end of 2008 but never happened. In 2010, JRC and OSGeo joined forces to make an Open Source Mash-up at the INSPIRE conference possible.
How good does Open Source GIS software fit into the INSPIRE picture? Can it be used as a software stack to build INSPIRE SDI's? It would be interesting to make a fit/gap analysis between what the INSPIRE standards require and what the OSGeo stack provides. Also, a plan could be made up to fill in the gaps (in time). The reasoning behind this is that the regular customers will not be able to make this analysis by themselves, so it would be good to have something written up.
Who is interested in collaborating in such a fit/gap analysis?
- Bart van den Eijnden
- Dirk Frigne
- Jo Walsh
- Arnulf Christl
- Rafal Wawer
- Thomas Piechl
- Simone Giannecchini
- Wolfgang Tinkl
- Just van den Broecke
- Jeroen Ticheler
- Tom McHugh
- Jachym Cepicky
What is already available?
For a more detailed list of INSPIRE Open Source tools, reference is made to the INSPIRE tools inventory wiki page.
- View services (MapServer, deegree, MapGuide, Mapbender, OpenLayers, GeoServer, others)
- Download services (deegree, GeoServer, MapServer, others)
- Discovery services (GeoNetwork, Mapbender, deegree, pycsw, others)
- Transformation services (usually as part of the functionality provided by above software, Proj4, MetaCRS, GeoServer, others)
- deegree inspireNode: deegree 3 View Service / Download Service setup for all INSPIRE Annex I Data Themes
- INSPIRE Publish/Download/View services demo using deegree, GeoExt and OpenStreetMap; source code at http://code.google.com/p/inspire-foss
JRC is also providing INSPIRE tools to implementers and users:
- Discovery/Viewer by JRC: http://inspire-geoportal.ec.europa.eu/discovery/
- Metadata editor by JRC: http://inspire-geoportal.ec.europa.eu/editor/
- Metadata Validator by JRC: http://inspire-geoportal.ec.europa.eu/validator2/
What is still missing?
For a more detailed list of missing functionalities, in the realm of INSPIRE, in existing Open Source tools, reference is made to the INSPIRE tools inventory wiki page.
- Comprehensive tutorial / how to / white paper on security of SDIs.
- An INSPIRE-flavoured version of the OSGeoLive environment would be beneficial for them who are confronted with INSPIRE and could also be used to promote OSGeo.
- To illustrate the use of Open Source software packages in the context of INSPIRE implementations and usage, it would be helpful to provide an INSPIRE sample dataset. See INSPIRE data experiments for concrete actions on this.
- Some stuff emerging now through ESDIN deliverables. Find more information on the requirements in the ESDIN Wiki.
- CSW INSPIRE extensions in GeoServer
What is in progress?
- INSPIRE Geoportal will use deegree: http://osgeo-org.1560.n6.nabble.com/deegree-in-INSPIRE-Geoportal-td4164496.html
- NAS data converter for the German cadastral base map
- transformation and WFS/WMS for INSPIRE by the Dutch Cadastre: http://inspire.kademo.nl ; source code and documentation at http://code.google.com/p/inspire-foss
- http://tinyows.org/ and access to GML 3.2.1 through PostGIS (V 1.5)
- ESDIN; The Europen SDI Network, an eContent+ funded project of major European NMCAs
- OpenLayers learned about GML 3.2.1 (contact Steven Ottens for more information)
- lots of GeoServer and deegree instances serving WFS as INSPIRE Download Services
- lots of MapServers and GeoServer serving WMS form the same data as INSPIRE View Services
- AGIT 2009 (Germlish) Workshop: [INSPIRE: Umsetzung mit Open Source Software] (version 0.2)
- FOSSGIS 2009 (German) INSPIRE: Umsetzung mit Open Source Software (version 0.1)
- INSPIRE Status Report in Germany given by Andreas von Dömming at GSDI
- Implementing INSPIRE with Free and Open Source for Geo given by Just_van_den_Broecke at Bolsena_Code_Sprint_2010
- German Pollutant Release and Transfer Register Web application and OSGeo SDI for public use with OpenStreetMap data.
- Dutch National Geo Register INSPIRE-compliant metadata server implemented with GeoNetwork
- The Swiss Geographic Catalogue INSPIRE-compliant metadata server implemented with GeoNetwork
- FOSS SDIC
- Geospatial Integration Showcase. This showcase aims to be an easily deployable testbed of inter-operable software and should provide a good basis for testing an INSPIRE stack. This showcase is initially targeting FOSS4G in October 2009.
- Metadata software
- OSGeo INSPIRE Initiatives