ARE3NA: Building bridges from…

ARE3NA: Building bridges from INSPIRE to e-government via RDF and PIDs

Published on: 14/05/2014

A Reusable INSPIRE Reference Platform (ARE3NA, ISA Action 1.17) is about to finish a study that aims to build bridges between INSPIRE's developments to share geospatial information in support of environment policy across Europe to potential areas of reuse of its data and reference materials in e-government.

The study has involved addressing two aspects of making INSPIRE ‘reusable’ in other contexts.

The INSPIRE Directive (2007/2/CE) has established the rules to help exchange comparable geospatial data covering 34 data themes, many of which involve data that are not only applicable to the environment, such as transport and health data. The INSPIRE data models are developed on a conceptual level using the Unified Modeling Language (UML), and the default encoding for most INSPIRE themes is based on the Geography Markup Language (GML) [1]. However, the EU Member States and EU projects are use Resource Description Framework (RDF) [2] to make available the e-government applications and tools as Linked Data and they are creating RDF vocabularies based on the conceptual INSPIRE UML data models. This means that there are no rules agreed or guidelines on how this creation from UML to RDF should be performed.

The study has, therefore, explored how a common methodology can be developed and what further steps will be needed to refine the approach. Preliminary evidence from a state-of-play study on the topic was presented at a webinar in March [3], with results of an experiment with experts to create an RDF vocabulary for some INSPIRE data themes presented at another in May [4]

INSPIRE also involves a number of elements which requiring unique identification and the Linked Data approach relies on the persistent identification of data and related elements. Though the EU Member States have created governance structures, processes, rules/guidelines and tools to create, manage, maintain and use global Persistent Identifiers (PIDs, such as DoIs and URIs) in their Spatial Data Infrastructures (SDIs), that INSPIRE is built upon, different approaches have been identified and no governance model/process has been established that would guide development of location information, in general, and INSPIRE, in particular.

The study has explored this governance topic and produced a state-of-play overview, with a webinar presenting initial results in March [5]. A holistic model (GOFA) has been developed that explores the governance topic in terms of Governance approaches themselves, alongside considerations of the role of Operational needs, Finances and Architecture. A list of recommendations for how PIDs could be governed based on each of the four areas of this model has be proposed, with results which not only apply to INSPIRE but also to other sectors whose PIDs may benefit from the findings or where their actual content may be useful for INSPIRE, introducing governance approaches of PIDs across sectors and disciplines. The results of this work have also been presented at a webinar in May [6].

The two elements of the studies point to the need for more work, including testing and refinement. ARE3NA will explore the possibility to take up these recommendations in other tasks but groups are encouraged to make use of the findings and share their experiences of applying them in their communities and organisations, helping common approaches to, and best practices of, INSPIRE RDF and PIDs to evolve.




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City/Location: Ispra