1Spatial supports AGI INSPIRE Data Specifications Workshop

January 05, 2009 -- 1Spatial is exhibiting at a workshop being organised by the Association for Geographic Information (AGI) in London on 8th January 2009. The event will provide an opportunity for all parties with an interest in INSPIRE* to learn more about the Data Specifications for Annex 1 (Reference Datasets**). These have now been published by the European Commission for comment by registered organisations (such as AGI).

The AGI's INSPIRE Action Working Group is running the workshop with a view to sharing information and providing updates relating to the INSPIRE data specifications that have now been published to enable Legally Mandated Organisations (LMOs) and Spatial Data Interest Communities (SDICs). 1Spatial is a registered SDIC working on the INSPIRE transformation testing with several European Member States across a number of Thematic Areas, such as cadastral parcels, hydrography and transportation networks. Most of this testing is being carried as a result of 1Spatial’s involvement in ESDIN***, the best practice network for European Spatial Data Infrastructures.

The AGI is also an SDIC - one of at least 40 such organisations from the UK. Most of the UK experts that have participated in the INSPIRE Thematic Working Groups have agreed to contribute to this AGI-sponsored event. Defra and the European Commission are also sending representatives who will set the Data Specifications in UK and EU contexts respectively.

This will be a technical workshop to outline and explain the background of the data specifications. It will cover some of the INSPIRE comitology approach, describe the consultation process and cover the different requirements for the various data specifications. Organisations will benefit from involvement if they read the relevant data specifications for their business domain or thematic area prior to attending the workshop. It is not a forum for any political or strategic discussions on behalf of the UK for INSPIRE related matters.

Robin Waters, Chair of the AGI INSPIRE Action Working Group stated:
”We want GI software vendors - whose products will be needed to help deliver INSPIRE - to take part and make sure that their voice is heard. A number of vendors, such as 1Spatial are already well involved in the INSPIRE consultation process. This is an opportunity for other national and international suppliers to interact with the people that are writing these specifications and to learn more about them.”

Steven Ramage, Business Development Director of 1Spatial, added:
“1Spatial is already very active in INSPIRE and involvement in this workshop furthers our commitment to help move the process forward. As part of the Annex I testing phase, we are already working with a number of industry leading organisations to define a series of sample test rules according to the INSPIRE schema using our Radius Studio product. Once data is loaded (and transformed) into the INSPIRE schema users can then evaluate their data content for conformance using these rules. Since there are 27 Member States that will be assessing ways to make their data conform to INSPIRE specifications across a number of Thematic Working Groups we believe that being able to reuse these rules will prove to be very powerful.”

The INSPIRE data specifications are published on the INSPIRE website managed by the JRC. Comments on the data specifications must be sent back to the INSPIRE team at the European Commission via individual LMO/SDIC contact persons by the end of January.

* The European Union’s INSPIRE Directive came into force on 15th May 2007. INSPIRE stands for Infrastructure for Spatial Information in Europe and can be described as the European Spatial Data Infrastructure programme (ESDI). It creates a legal framework for the establishment and operation of an ESDI for the purpose of formulating, implementing, monitoring and evaluating Community policies at all levels, and providing public information. It lays down the 'ground rules' and arrangements which enable spatial data from separate digital databases to be combined seamlessly without undue difficulty, and for such datasets to be widely available and used, not just for viewing but also for comparison and analysis.

** Coordinate Reference & Geog Grid Systems, Geographical Names, Administrative Units, Addresses, Cadastral Parcels, Transport Networks, Hydrography (which includes Hydrology), Protected Sites

*** ESDIN is a 30-month project that runs from September 2008 until March 2011. During the same period the INSPIRE process will produce a series of data specifications for a series of thematic areas, such as cadastral parcels, hydrography and transport networks. ESDIN will enable NMCAs at different levels of national Spatial Data Infrastructure development to share knowledge and information relating to good practice for aggregating and sharing data across borders throughout the Europe. As well as addressing technical issues, ESDIN will also cover business model development including pricing, licencing, intellectual property and digital rights management.

The ESDIN website is now live at: http://www.esdin.eu

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