Open Conference Systems, 2nd Croatian NSDI and INSPIRE Day and 6th Conference Cartography and Geoinformation

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Europe, INSPIRE and EuroGeographics
Dave Lovell

##manager.scheduler.building##: Milenij Grand Hotel 4 opatijska cvijeta Congress Centre Tamaris, Opatija Orhideja Hall, 1st floor
Date: 2010-11-25 10:40 AM – 11:15 AM
Last modified: 2010-11-30


INSPIRE has without doubt been successful in creating the motivation, and in many cases stimulated the funding of national spatial data infrastructures within the EU and beyond.

eSDI-NETplus has demonstrated the existence, effectiveness and importance of sub-national SDI.

EuroGeographics is, through the ESDIN project, helping with the implementation of INSPIRE at local, regional and national level and in particular is helping to ensure that NSDIs can be aggregated to achieve the ambition of a European SDI. ESDIN aims to maximise the outcomes from the investments being, or to be made, within member states but also aims to provide cost effective solutions for the significant challenge of harmonising geo-information to provide useable and useful pan-European reference data.

INSPIRE is in essence of course merely a piece of legislation which demands that member states do certain things in particular ways to encourage the sharing and use of information for a range of topics or domains. It is fundamental for the long term success of INSPIRE, GMES, SEIS and other important initiatives that we ensure that there is one location framework comprising authoritative, reliable, high quality and consistent reference information. We refer to this as the European Location Framework.

Duplication, or substitution of the national geo-spatial reference framework and this harmonised at European level, is unnecessary and unjustified. It leads to a waste of public money, your money and mine, and creates uncertainty and eventually chaos for the effective analysis and reporting of vital environmental, social, economic and other information and would result in weak, ineffectual and costly policy and service decisions. This principle underlies INSPIRE, it must be recognised and respected by us all.

Good progress has been and continues to be made in implementing INSPIRE, particularly in Annex I themes, and a few others as we see in the eContentplus project OneGeology Europe, but the biggest challenge yet to come is harmonising domain data using a consistent reference layer – the European Location Framework.

Legislation is a matter for governments. At the European level government is made up of the European Council, Commission and Parliament. They have created the legislation – INSPIRE but the role of government in creating and managing SDIs goes further than legislation. At the GSDI Conference in last month, experts from public administrations, corporations and academia concluded that the responsibility of governments, in addition to providing legislation, included: providing coordination, encouraging standardisation, promoting awareness, encouraging and exploiting best practice and more besides.

When government, and by this I mean the bodies forming the European Government, are unable or unwilling to fulfil all these roles others must do so on their behalf. In the coming period many of these roles can, with supporting funding, become the role of strong associations such as EuroGeographics and other representative organisations.

Success in implementing SDI at local, regional, national, European and at the global level requires sustained and substantial funding and a substantial and sustained commitment to working together. Working together is required by individuals, by organisations, by associations and between many professional disciplines. Working together it required because ‘together we are stronger’.

Keywords: European Location Framework, Cooperation and Harmonisation

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