Report: GDI-DE INSPIRE Information Workshop

The Geo Data Infrastructure Germany Coordination Team (GDI-DE) set up a very informative and well-attended one-day workshop on Tuesday, 10th of December. Simon Templer participated and presented a methodology overview and gave a few examples for schema harmonisation using HALE to the approximately 100 participants, who represented German municipalities, state SDIs and other interested parties.

In the morning session, the focus point of the presentations was on motivating the implementation of INSPIRE, but also on showing where organizational pitfalls and other issues are currently visible. Ingo Wanders (“The Usage of Geoinformation in Muncipailities”) and Anja Loddenkemper’s (“Solving Problems we wouldn’t have without INSPIRE?”) presentations made it apparent that especially smaller organizations such as municipalities need better support. Andreas Fritzsche explained what opportunities lie in the INSPIRE implementation for the chamber of commerce by providing an harmonised access interface.

The afternoon session was started by Daniela Hogrebe and Martin Seiler with a state of play presentation on the implementation of INSPIRE within GDI-DE. Followed by this, attention turned to one of the big open issues: How to transform data to achieve harmonisation? Astrid Feichtner opened this topic with her “Data Interoperability for INSPIRE in practice” talk. Simon continued with his presentation titled Semantic Harmonisation – An Experience Report. Interestingly enough, the (Geo)JSON support that HALE now has was a topic that got some response.

Simon Templer's Presentation highlighted challenges and solutions for semantic harmonisation issues such as reclassification.

Simon Templer’s Presentation highlighted challenges and solutions for semantic harmonisation issues such as reclassification.

The afternoon session was concluded with two presentations that dealt with one of the main promises of INSPIRE: Provide a common & reuseable platform through which all kinds of reporting to country, state and EU could be handled in a consistent fashion. The first talk explained the WasserBLICK portal, which is the nation-wide portal for reporting in Germany, and the second showcased the Marine Spatial Data Infrastructure in Germany. Interesting note: According to Dr. Ralf Busskamp, the administrations who receive the reports are lagging behind in implementing INSPIRE compared to those who are reporting.

In the concluding discussion, there was quite some encouragement to have a workshop specifically on schema transformation, to be organized by GDI-DE.

Thanks to Simon for his account of the workshop, from which I wrote this article!