INSPIRE Conference 2013

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Offen, saugut!



Arnulf submitted an abstract to the INSPIRE conference 2013 which takes place in Florence, Italy from 2013-06-23 to 2013-06-27. Let's see what will become of it.

The abstract has been accepted for Thursday, June 27, 2013 in Room 5. See the full program:

Arnulf will also contribute to the Workshop "Sharing Data and Accessing Web Services - Going Practical!" ()see below).

Open Data: A practical approach to the untamed beast

HTML slides at:

See also the Abstract on the INSPIRE Conference web site.


Before attempting to tame the beast we better get to know what Open Data really is. The definition is still evolving but there is already a surprising diversity of aspects that need to be taken into account. The first part of this paper will look into four aspects of Open Data:

  • Factual Open Data as published by authoritative sources
  • Community driven Open Data
  • Crowd Sourced Data and VGI
  • Business models using Open Data

A lot of Open Data is created and published by public bodies. In some cases it can make sense to publish it under a permissive license allowing to change the data. In other cases it may make more sense to only allow derivative works but protect the data with strong copyright. If the data is of factual nature (for example sensor data and collected data) there is no requirement to change or modify the data itself. Instead it is much more important to tightly associate the source, lineage, quality and processing metadata together with the data itself for the publishing process.

In most European legislations data is made available under a license (lets ignore the Anglo-Saxon concept of Public Domain). Some of these licenses are permissive to an extent which does not make much sense. Es an example: Why should it be allowed to modify and change factual data? Just imagine that someone changes the content of census data (which is technically allowed) just to prove an argument which is not really maintainable. At the same time fully open accessibility of the data is required to allow double checking and confirming findings based on data.

The differentiation between Community driven Open Data and Crowd Sourced data is becoming more and more distinct. Both are very much on the grow but in a different way. OpenStreetMap as an example is thoroughly community driven and thoroughly transparent. The requirements of the users make it evolve into a more homogeneous dataset with growing quality requirements. This slows the innovation of the project but at the same makes it more viable for sustainable long term business models.

A lot of so called "Volunteered Geographic Information" is far from transparent or community driven. Rather, it is an outsourcing process to "volunteers" (in quotes because many do not even know that they are "volunteering"). This type of "Open" Data is explicitly not available openly, but it is collected by "open" (as in "not clearly defined") crowds. One example for this data is movement information collected by SatNav or Telecom providers. Another source for location information is "volunteered" to (so called) social networks operated by the likes of Twitter, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Samsung and so on.

Operating and Business Models with Open Data

The second part of this paper will look into business opportunities and operating models around Open Data. They are still very much evolving but several different approaches can already be distinguished:

  • Proprietary use of volunteered information
  • Community driven data as source for revenue models
  • Authoritative data as a resource for business models
  • Public data as fuel for national economies

Most data collected by location App providers is used for proprietary purposes. This can include footfall data collected by mobile service providers who use the detailed fine gridded movement patterns to create products for retail location intelligence.

Community driven data collections like OpenStreetMap increasingly complement and in some cases also replace data collected by the public administration. They increasingly also have a higher level of detail, accuracy and actuality than comparable closed data sources.

Authoritative data can be a resource for many businesses to support their internal work flows and processes. These are not business models focusing explicitly on making maps or other geospatial products but to improve internal logistics or to better understand their location contexts.

On an even broader scale geospatial data collected, maintained and disseminated by public bodies is fuel for national economies, enhancing everything from transportation to planning and the environment. This type of data can only be maintained by an economically independent, government funded body which defines a high and well defined level of quality for the public good.


Open Data is a model, a concept and also an attitude. Currently the understanding of Open Data is still very much work in progress as are well defined license models that address the needs of the data and the users. The following three areas need specific attention when seriously getting into Open Data.

  1. Data providers must have a clear understanding of the nature of the data in questions and its potential uses to be able to choose the appropriate Open Data model.
  2. Data users must have a clear understanding of the quality of the data in question, what maintenance regime can be expected and which uses the license of the data allows.
  3. The political level has to understand that some aspects of a society cannot be commercialized and instead need thoughtful investment to fulfill the statutory duty of a national state.

Workshop: Sharing Data and Accessing Web Services - Going Practical!

Arnulf contributed to the workshop Sharing Data and Accessing Web Services at the INSPIRE conference 2013.


Clare Hadley
Roger Longhorn
Suzanne McLaughlin
Athina Trakas
Rüdiger Gartmann
Arnulf Christl


Please note that this set of slides is only a part of the full workshop. The full slide set will be published later.


This workshop follows on from the (proposed) workshop on ‘Foundations for data and service sharing’ from the technical implementation viewpoint.

To deal efficiently with societal, environmental and economic challenges in our increasingly complex world, current and accurate geospatial information is vital. Accessibility and sharing of data for re-use between different organisations - without technical barriers - is key if we want to address these challenges.

The challenge of technical interoperability between different data and services is being addressed by standards and specification of service interfaces, data formats, and web services. Provision of web services and aspects such as access control, licensing issues (terms of service, data licences etc.) and the technical and organisational implications of them, still are challenging for data providers and users.

The focus will be on good practice examples from several data providers who have already implemented or are about to implement a means of sharing data or services. By giving an insight into the approaches, gaps that have been identified and need(ed) to be filled and decisions data providers had to make, the workshop provides participants a better understanding of how to deal themselves with aspects around data sharing and accessibility of data and services.

In addition to the presentations the organisers will run a survey on the current state of data and service sharing among the audience, providing preliminary results during the workshop and a final summary after the conference.

OSGeo INSPIRE Ping Pong Match

Find complete notes in the OSGeo Wiki:

This workshop will be run in an open round style (like a mini-barcamp). The workshop aims at attracting people from all disciplines to start cross domain communication which currently appears to be the major blocker to get INSPIRE implemented.


The summary slide set of the workshop is available for download:


The Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo) is a non-profit international organization created in early 2006 to support and promote the collaborative development of geospatial open source software (GFOSS). OSGeo provides a common forum and shared infrastructure for improving cross-project collaboration. The foundation's projects are all freely available and usable under an OSI-certified open source license.

In the first 45min of the workshop Open Source software and data providers will give lighnting-talk style presentations of 3 minutes and 3 slides stating:

  • Where do I come from, what is my role
  • What I want or have to do
  • What are the blockers preventing me from getting it done

Each presentation focuses on the relevant INSPIRE capabilities of the software or the INSPIRE needs for the data provision and the potential issues and blockers resulting from the current version of the directive.

The second half of the workshop will be dedicated to a round table dialog between all participants.

The following topics will guide through the dialog:

  1. Maturity of the standards
  2. Maturity of the software
  3. Maturity andf correctness of the data
  4. Implementability of the INSPIRE directive
  5. Degrees of freedom in the implementation
  6. Complexity of INSPIRE technical guidance and OGC standards
  7. INSPIRE implementing rules, international and national standards
  8. Communication channels between OSGeo and INSPIRE
  9. How to contribute to INSPIRE Maintenance Presentation by Vanda Nunes de Lima

Practical follow-ups

  1. Setting up Wiki pages (multilingual) to make INSPIRE documentation more readable
  2. How to test and validate INSPIRE compliance
  3. How to change/simplify INSPIRE technical guidance in practice
  4. How to contribute to INSPIRE maintenance
  5. Automation of INSPIRE adoption through support in the various software packages
  6. How an implicit support for INSPIRE in any software will give a boost to the adoption of the directive even outside EU
  7. Automation of INSPIRE adoption through support in the various software packages

Notes on Workshop Description and Goals

The session will involve short presentation (lightning talks) with a follow-up dialog, potentially in sub groups. Participants should bring a computer, tablet or smartphone to the workshop to be able to participate in Wiis, mailing lists, web sites, Twittter, and so on.

Notes on Intended Audience and any Required Skills or Interests

  • Data providers who have to implement INSPIRE
  • Open Source Software developers
  • Businesses providing support for Open Source software
  • Academia
  • INSPIRE Representatives (Who is that exactly? If nobody shows up we will finally know that this role has not been implemented)