INSPIRE 2010 Conference - DH Topics

Following discussion during Data Harmonisation telecon
a few notes regarding Data Harmonization within INSPIRE, to engage comments on potential linkages to GEOSS.

So far, the identified GEOSS AI Pilot related topics are:
1) AIP Water Drought scenario : cross-border datasets harmonization issues
2) Registration of INSPIRE tools and Guidelines within selected GEOSS registries (CSR, SIR, Best Practices Wiki)
3) (TBC)

June 22nd-25th was the INSPIRE 2010 Conference, with notably many GEOSS-INSPIRE relations emphasized.
Of special interest was the number of presentations dealing with Data Harmonization (up to seven).
I provide here below a summary in this regard
(some full papers already available, follow the provided links)

You can read the presentations from here :

Session « Spatial Planning »
Plan4all – State of the Art in Spatial Planning Data Harmonisation and Transnational SDI-Building
Manfred Schrenk, Petr Horak, Julia Neuschmid, Mauro Salvemini, Didier Vancutsem and Wolfgang Wasserburger
- Planning accross fixed borders becomes more and more important but still hard to achieve
- Spatial planning systems, legal situations and spatial planning data management are fragmented
- The project Plan4all (May 2009 - October 2011) focuses on the interoperability and harmonisation of spatial planning data (procedures, methods and standards)
- Build a network of public and private actors to establish a Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI), implementing the INSPIRE Directive into the planning process.
- State of the art in spatial data harmonisation and SDI building

Session « National frameworks »
Harmonizing spatial databases and services at local and regional level
Angela Ionita, Mihaela Caian, Vassil Vassilev, Vasile Craciunescu and Ion Nedelcu
- Start or re-start building spatial data infrastructures (SDI)
- Based on technical and collaborative framework
- Experience gathered in setup SDI at local level, then planning development at regional level in a cross-border Bulgaria-Romania project.

Session « Trans-national SDI projects » (1/3)
Cross-Border Harmonisation of Spatial Base Data between Germany and the Czech Republic
Claudia Gedrange, Marco Neubert and Myra Sequeira
- Homogeneous databases are necessary for cross-border planning and information
- Data collected and provided by the 2 respective surveying agencies offer a good basis.
- But each provide only the corresponding national territory, with its own cartographic projections, data formats and data models, geometry (e.g. of the national boundary), languages, and semantic meanings of the content…
- Objective is :
    - to develop methods to adapt data seamlessly along the national boundary (geometric homogenisation)
    - to enable users to display and classify data in a comparable form regarding the content (semantic harmonisation)

Session « Trans-national SDI projects » (2/3)
Data Harmonisation Put into Practice by the Humboldt Project
Astrid Fichtinger, Joachim Rix, Ulrich Schäffler, Simone Scherer and Moses Gone
- HUMBOLDT ( is running from 2006 to 2010
- Data harmonisation focus :
    - 27 partners from 14 European countries representing public administration, research and industry have teamed up to contribute to the implementation of the European Spatial Data Infrastructure (ESDI)
    - State-of-the-art analysis on methods and tools for spatial data & metadata management and harmonisation
    - Software architectures & processes described
    - User requirements of different application domains gathered
- Support of partly automated & adjustable processes for harmonisation of spatial data and metadata, for which no ready-made solution exists
    - Continuous development of a software framework and additional toolset (conceptual schema translation…)
    - Application scenarios (e.g. European Risk Atlas, Ocean, Urban Planning, and Protected Areas) for testing under realistic conditions
- Gathered information valuable for “how to”-guidelines and best practices

Session « Trans-national SDI projects » (3/3)
Creation of value-added services based on Harmonized Land Use and Land Cover Datasets: Project HLANDATA
Isabel Goñi, Maria Cabello, Delia Sola and Ana Vicente
- Review of Land Use and Land Cover themes usages :
    - Environmental Impact Evaluation
    - GMES applications
    - Calculations on CO2 drains for the National Greenhouse Gas Registry
    - Irrigation land’s evolution and evaluation-projection on water consumption for agricultural goals
    - Study on habitats and ecosystems with desertification risk
    - Preliminary calculations on erosive states
    - Study and evaluation of town-planning growth models (specially around big cities), etc.
- INSPIRE Directive as key driver for the standardization and harmonization of Land Cover and Land Use information in the EU
    - Harmonizing the categorization of the information
    - Harmonizing the data models
- Demonstrate the feasibility of European level harmonization of the Land Use and Land Cover datasets taking into account both the data categorization and the data models

Session « New and Evolving tools and technologies » (1/2)
Interorganizational Geo-Synchronization Using OGC Technologies to Share and Harmonize Data in Catalonia
Alex Milanovic, Jordi Guimet, Enric Rodellas and Miguel Angel Bolívar
- Assess the feasibility of using OGC GML and WFS specifications for building an automated geo-synchronization infrastructure:
    - between City of Barcelona and Port of Barcelona,
    - between Port of Barcelona and Cartographic Institute of Catalonia
- Experiment showed considerable resources needed to define the mapping between data models, devise a process for publishing the data changes, overcome deficiencies of the available software applications, and incorporate the harvested data in the data maintenance processes
- Data events modeled so as to enable history of digital data changes
- Historic data conservation, data with timestamps to enable versioning
- Geo-synchronization using OGC technologies between different organizations, for data mapping and transformation work in the INSPIRE directive context

Session « New and Evolving tools and technologies » (2/2)
Harmonizing Dutch National Geodata Conform To INSPIRE Patterns Using Combined Transformation
Ebrahim Hemmatnia, Just van den Broecke and Ko van Raamsdonk
- Use of public geodata in environmental matters
    - Current EU developments have led to a growth in both the number of transboundary cooperation projects and the need for geospatial analyses in cross-border regions (Garnter et al. 2009)
- Cross-border geodata on a European level not yet accessible
    - Access to shared and actualized geodata can assist decision makers, like in public health and security, to solve those cross-border issues which have an impact on the European environment, but not possible without geodata harmonization across Europe
    - Data harmonization is about creating the possibility to combine data from heterogeneous sources into integrated, consistent and unambiguous information products, in a way that is of no concern to the end-user (, 2010).
- Member states within the EU have local standards for geodata which makes sharing data across borders tremendously difficult
    - Presentation of recently gained knowledge and skills for the realization of harmonizing Dutch national geodata conform INSPIRE data themes
    - and making this data available through web-services as standardized by the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) WMS & WFS
- Within this approach, two specific themes from INSPIRE Annex I (version 3.0) were examined:
    - Addresses
    - Cadastral Parcels
- Use of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) within the Dutch Land Registry and Mapping Agency (the Dutch Kadaster)