The inspire-foss project

The open source community around data harmonisation and transformation is growing steadily. An interesting project that was started in 2010 by Just van den Broecke and others is called inspire-foss and offers “Transformation, storage and web-based delivery for geodata based on European INSPIRE standards using Free and Open Source Software“. The main focus of the inspire-foss project itself at this time is ETL – the transformation of data in an arbitrary spatial data source file to an INSPIRE-compliant schema. Technology-wise, a mix of XSLT, GDAL/OGR, Python and Java is used to create the ETL service. A description of the typical implementation process can be found here. As this process involves activites such as XSLT development and Unix Shell scripting, which might not be for everyone, the group also offers professional support.

For solving other steps of a data harmonisation process, several components are integrated. The deegree inspire node is used for data delivery, while an OpenLayers-based web map application called Heron Mapping Clientis used as a client. In HUMBOLDT, we have also worked closely with the deegree team and recommend using their service as well. This collaboration was tested in projects like GS SOIL.

An interesting topic that came up during INTERGEO, where we met part of the team behind the deegree project, was the format they use internally to configure the mapping between the database and GML. The definition of such mapping models and their usage are still complicated tasks and there was a strong interest in combining efforts to advance a standardised conceptual mapping format. We will definitely follow up on this!

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