Workflow: Loading the INSPIRE Annex II and III schemas

Working with large GML schemas and their dozens of dependencies to ISO, OGC and INSPIRE application schemas can be quite a pain – it’s one of these cases where I can’t help but agree to James Fee’s statement about GIS being complicated. Issues related to just loading them were, for quite some time, the most commonly asked support queries we got. This workflow post shows you which options you have in HALE to load a complex schema easily.

1. Import from preset: The simple option:

  1. Go to File -> Import source (or target) schema
  2. Select the “From preset” tab
  3. Pick one of the “bundled” schemas (all dependencies are included and don’t need to be fetched online)
  4. Click “Finish”. You are done.


2. Load a schema from an online repository: If the schema you want to work with is not bundled with HALE, you can access one of the online repositories, which usually have all imported schemas and other resources.

  1. In HALE, go to File -> Import source (or target) schema
  2. Select the “From URL” tab
  3. Copy/Write the URL of your root schema into the text box, e.g. http://inspire.ec.europa.eu/…/PlannedLandUse.xsd. Example repositories include:
    1. INSPIRE draft schemas: http://inspire.ec.europa.eu/draft-schemas/
    2. INSPIRE final schemas: http://inspire.ec.europa.eu/schemas/
    3. OGC schemas: http://schemas.opengis.net/
  4. Click “Finish”. All dependencies are retrieved automatically.

INSPIRE KEN & EuroSDR Workshop in Paris

If you’d like to get an excellent overview of available software and approaches for transforming data to INSPIRE formats, a good opportunity is coming up: THE INSPIRE KEN (Knowledge Exchange Network) and EuroSDR are organizing a workshop about schema transformation tools and methods in the premises of the ENSG – Marne-La-Vallée (near Paris) – France.

Citing from the workshop’s information and registration page, “NMCAs, as other data producers, will have to make their data compliant with INSPIRE interoperability Implementing Rules; during [the] next years, this compliance will mainly be achieved through schema and data transformation. The objectives of the workshop is to make a state-of-play about (existing or projected) schema transformation tools, to help NMCAs to assess these tools and to help them to choose the most appropriate and possibly, to provide background to disseminate knowledge about schema transformation at national level.

The workshop is scheduled from Tuesday 8th October 2013 09:00 – Wednesday 9th October 2013 16:00. This is the draft lineup of presentations of the workshop:

Tuesday Morning

Time Topic
09:00 – 09:10 Welcome and introduction
09:10 – 09:35 A Study about schema transformation services
09:35 – 10:00 Approaches & Languages for Schema Transformation: Findings of HUMBOLDT & follow-up Activities
10:00 – 10:25 From production data base to INSPIRE data: potential methods
10:25 – 10:45 Pause
10:45 – 11:30 The ESDIN experience : use of DBMS and WFS, The GeoServer APP schema, Catalogue and mapping generators by Politecnico di Milano
11:30 – 12:10 Deegree and its specific developments for INSPIRE

Tuesday 08th October afternoon : non-commercial tools

Time Topic
13:20 – 13:50 XSLT and its use by Kadaster for ESDIN
13:50 – 14:20 Stetl for INSPIRE transformation
14:20 – 14:50 Talend for INSPIRE Theme Land Use
14:50 – 15:20 Comparison Talend GeoKettle
15:20 – 15:40 Pause
15:40 – 16:10 Humboldt Alignment Editor (HALE) and Conceptual Schema Transformer (CST)
16:10 – 16:40 GeoConverter
16:40 – 17:10 ExoMS for INSPIRE themes Species Distribution – Habitat and Biotopes
17:10 – 17:40 model driven Web Feature Service (mdWFS)
17:40 – 18:30 Discussion : main drivers to choose transformation tool(s) and method(s)

Wednesday 9 October morning : Commercial tools

Time Topic
09:00 – 9:40 Feature Manipulation Engine (FME) and its use for ESDIN
09:40 – 10:20 ArcGIS for INSPIRE – Example of use
10:20 – 10:50 Snowflake GO Publisher
10:50 – 11:10 Pause
11:10 – 11:50 INTERGRAPH GeoMedia Fusion and its use by Gugik
11:50 – 12:20 Use of Altova MapForce by Lantmateriät
12:20 – 12:50 Schema transformation by 1Spatial

Wednesday 9 October afternoon : research and discussions

Time Topic
14:00 – 14:30 Tools to restructure geographic data on the Web
14:30 – 15:00 The ARE3NA project
15:00 – 16:00 Discussion

HALE on GitHub

GitHub has become the most popular platform for sharing open source code. It makes code accessible in a standard fashion – always the same pattern of access URLs and methods, just one account to manage contributions to many projects and it furthermore provides several clients that aim to lower the “geek” threshold of working with Git repositories. We, the HALE team, have been using Git for quite some time now and have furthermore been active on GitHub in various projects. Since our goal is to simplify contributions from the community, you can now access HALE on GitHub:

  1. If you don’t have a GitHub account already, create one. It won’t hurt :).
  2. Go to the hale repository on GitHub
  3. Fork the hale repository, so that it gets copied to your own account
  4. Clone your copy of the repository to your local environment
  5. Set up your local development environment
  6. Perform any changes to your local copy, commit them and push them to your remote repository
  7. Send us a pull request via GitHub to let us know that you have a change you’d like to contribute!
  8. We will then merge, check out whether the change still builds on our jenkins server, and accept the change if it’s good into the main repository.

Of course, you need to be aware that HALE is Open Source (LGPL 3.0), and you have to provide us with a note that you release all contributions you make under this license.


Summer Break is Over: Time to Meet in Nottingham

At FOSS4G 2013 in Nottingham, the HALE community is represented by Silvia Franceschi of Hydrologis. FOSS4G, which starts tomorrow (Tuesday 17th of September) with the preconference workshops, is the worlds largest event on everything GIS && OpenSource.

Sylvia will give the presentation titled “Create and Use INSPIRE Harmonised Geodata with HALE” on 13:00 on Thursday 19th September (in Session 3, starting at noon, EMCC: Room 3). Expect to hear about…

  1. A general introduction to hale
  2. A short update on HALE development
  3. A full example workflow showing how to easily create INSPIRE-compliant geodata
  4. How to contribute to HALE on GitHub and our community platform
  5. Our next releases

See you all in Nottingham!