Recommendation 19

Recommendation 19: Invest in communications and skills to ensure sufficient awareness and capabilities to drive through improvements in the use of location information in digital public services and support growth opportunities

Implementation guidance Related information



  • Computers and mobile phones are used widely in all walks of life.
  • Basic spatial knowledge and understanding of maps is relevant to many everyday situations but is not always retained or kept up to date from geography learning in schools.
  • Location information is relevant in many policy areas but the opportunities afforded and the best way of exploiting these opportunities are not always well known.
  • INSPIRE impacts a wide range of people in public authorities across Europe, and requires awareness and skills at different levels and for different purposes.
  • ICT and data skills frameworks do not always keep up to date with relevant technologies.
  • There are many ways of learning, and different people learn in different ways, e.g. formal education and training, studying publications, work experience, communicating with peers. These different types of learning all need to be factored in to the overall approach.
  • Project teams disband and move on to other things, sometimes outside the organisation. It is therefore essential that knowledge and learning is captured and retained for future use.
  • Teams brought together from different organisations and countries can bring a broad perspective of knowledge together to solve particular problems.
  • Communicating benefits and how they were achieved through worked examples is a powerful way of raising awareness raising and learning.




Education and spatial literacy

  • Promote an understanding of geography and spatial literacy in academic and work environments.
  • Include effective use of geospatial information systems in schools and university curricula.
  • Include ‘spatial’ competencies in national ICT and data competency frameworks.
  • Recognise relevant geospatial and INSPIRE competencies in the terms of reference for procurements involving geospatial technologies.
  • Introduce new and innovative teaching and learning methods in education on geospatial data and related topics, such as active learning, blended and online learning, case-based approaches, and use of educational technology.

Awareness raising

  • Provide awareness training for policy makers to help them understand the value of location-based analysis for evidence-based policy making and the approaches and tools that can be adopted.
  • Provide INSPIRE awareness raising and training events for policy makers, (geo) data specialists, and ICT implementers involved in the implementation and use of INSPIRE data.
  • Introduce ‘digital champions’ to promote public sector modernisation through the use of digital technology, and ensure these people are aware of and convey the benefits of geospatial information and technologies. Where an organisation is running a major GI improvement programme, a ‘GI champion’ may be needed to drive through the changes.
  • Promote the benefits of an integrated approach to the use of location information in digital public services and the role of INSPIRE, through communications events, use case factsheets, videos etc. (see also recommendation 14).

Developer and analytical skills

  • Run hackathons and competitions to promote innovation in the use of geospatial technologies and take up of more openly available geospatial data. The Sharing and Reuse Awards 2017 included several winners from the geospatial sector.
  • Reuse existing best practices, tools, and solutions where possible to shortcut implementation, introduce innovation, and reduce the need for specialist skills.
  • Employ expert quality assurance to avoid mistakes in first time deployment and use of geospatial technologies and data.
  • Re-use existing geospatial and INSPIRE training resources to support new learning for data specialists and ICT implementers.
  • Use web-based learning tools to share knowledge and ideas, e.g. wikis, blogs, webinars.
  • Participate in geospatial community groups to gain / share knowledge and communicate with peers (e.g. INSPIRE community, EUROGI, UK Association for Geographic Information, Trentino Open Data community).
  • Install and use location-based apps on mobile phones to see what end-users experience in their daily lives.
  • Read specialist books and journals to develop knowledge and keep it up to date.
  • Ensure public sector projects introducing geospatial digital public service solutions document and publish the learning from these projects, and produce relevant training resources to support rollout and take up of solutions.

User skills

  • Recognise the potential ‘digital divide’ and ‘spatial divide’ amongst users of digital public services. Ensure the services are as simple to use as possible, are developed in collaboration with potential users, and have the necessary instructions, training and support for users (see also recommendation 8). 

Skills intelligence

  • Collect, analyse, synthesise and disseminate relevant, correct and up-to-date information on the needs for certain skills related to sharing and reusing geospatial data and any mismatches with the existing skills of staff and relevant stakeholders.
  • Develop and use skills vocabularies for describing and representing skills and for establishing links with other relevant vocabularies.
  • Build upon existing national and international initiatives for collecting skills and labour market data and information that describe skills and related concepts. Key examples are the Cedefop’s Skills Panorama web-portal, the European classification of Skills, Competences, Occupations and Qualifications (ESCO) and past and ongoing initiatives to develop a Body of Knowledge for the GIS&T domain.



  • Training needs to be relevant to the user and timely for the situation, otherwise knowledge and information is not retained.
  • Open Knowledge (i.e. knowledge sharing) like Open Data requires commitment and resourcing.
  • Policy makers see geospatial information as a technical topic and not a tool for policy related analysis.
  • Projects do not allow sufficient time for training and capturing lessons learnt
  • Competency frameworks are too general to focus on geospatial or other specialist topics.
  • INSPIRE is seen as too complicated and technical.
  • The number of geography graduates and graduates with geospatial training (i.e. in geography or ICT courses) cannot keep pace with requirements.
  • Industry is relied upon for training but this concentrates knowledge on the supply side when knowledge is needed at all levels.
  • SMEs require business acumen and a supportive business environment as well as technical knowledge and available data to create and run successful (geo) businesses.


helpBest Practices


Bar chart dark blue 32LIFO Monitoring

The Location Information Framework Observatory (LIFO) monitors the implementation of EULF Blueprint recommendations in European countries. Read about the implementation of Recommendation 19 in the LIFO Country Factsheets or the LIFO European State of Play Report. Explore the results for selected countries at LIFO Interactive Dashboards - Recommendations.


PuzzleRelated Frameworks: European Interoperability Framework (EIF)

EIF Pillars Recommendations
Underlying Principle 4: Reusability Recommendation 6: Reuse and share solutions and cooperate in the development of joint solutions when implementing European public services.


PuzzleRelated Frameworks: UN-GGIM Integrated Geospatial Information Framework (IGIF)

Strategic Pathway 3: Financial

Documentation Elements

Implementation Guide


Benefits Realisation

Actions Tools
6. Deriving Value  
Benefits Realisation  
Communicate Benefits  

Strategic Pathway 8: Capacity and Education

Documentation Elements

Implementation Guide



Formal Education

Professional Training


Actions Tools
1. Setting Direction  
Capacity and Education Working Group  
Target Groups  
2. Assessing Needs  
Inventory of Knowledge, Skills and Resources

APP8.1: Knowledge-Skills-Resource Matrix for Organisations

APP8.2: Knowledge-Skills-Resource Matrix for Teams

APP8.3: Capacity Scanning Matrix

Assessments and Analyses

APP8.4: Incremental Approach to Needs Assessment and Analysis

APP8.5: Gap Analysis Approach to Needs Assessment and Analysis

3. Considering Alternatives  
Capacity Development and Education Strategy

APP8.6: PEST and SWOT analyses for Capacity and Education

APP8.7: Typical Components of a Capacity Development and Education Strategy

4. Planning for Action  
Development Approaches APP8.8: Types of Capacity Development Approaches
Implementation Plan  
Education Programmes  
Outreach Initiatives  
5. Taking Actions  
Community of Practice  
Innovation Hubs and Incubators  
Geospatial Challenges  
Geography in Schools  
Scholarships and Internships   
6. Assessing Value  
Monitor and Evaluate APP8.9: Recording Success Indicators for Capacity Development

Strategic Pathway 9: Communication and Engagement

Documentation Elements

Implementation Guide


Stakeholder and User Engagement

Strategic Messaging

Strategy, Plans and Methods

Monitoring and Evaluation

Actions Tools
1. Providing Leadership  
Communication and Engagement Strategy  
Working Group  
Internal Communication  
2. Understanding Opportunities  
Stakeholder Identification

APP9.1: Categories of Stakeholders

APP9.2: Identifying and Classifying Stakeholders

Stakeholder Analysis APP9.3: Stakeholder Analysis Matrix
3. Setting Direction  
Policy Platform  
Geospatial Brand  
Strategic Messages  
4. Creating Plan of Action  
Communication Plan

APP9.4: Stakeholder Analysis and Communication

APP9.5: Stakeholder Communication Plan

Communication Methods

APP9.6: Communication Methods

APP9.7: Communication Methods - Advantages and Disadvantages

5. Monitoring Progress  
Review and Evaluate APP9.8: Review and Evaluation - Methods for Benchmarking
Stakeholder Surveys  
6. Communicating Value  
Benefits Communications  
Lessons Learned Resource  


Marker Small 2ELISE Resources

Type Resource Date
Study Location interoperability, innovation and digital transformation: Lessons learned from ELISE Action webinar series 2021
Survey / Benchmarking Location Interoperability Framework Observatory delivers value for participants across Europe 2022
Webinar ELISE Webinar series - Topics for inclusion in communications and education programmes on the use of interoperable location data for policy and digital public services including, for example, strategic considerations, studies on emerging technologies, innovative use cases, and guidance on practical techniques and technologies     
Webinar The EULF Blueprint – Its role and how to use it 2021
Webinar ELISE - Support to policy initiatives 2021
Webinar ELISE - Interoperable frameworks and solutions 2021
Webinar ELISE - Emerging trends and technologies  2021
Workshop INSPIRE Conference: New directions in digital government using INSPIRE 2017
Workshop INSPIRE Online Conference: Vocabularies for describing and enhancing GI/EO Knowledge and Skills for INSPIRE and Copernicus 2020
Workshop DigitALL Public Conference: ELISE enabling the interoperability of digital government from a location perspective 2021
Workshop Location Interoperability – Lessons learnt. Where next? INSPIRE Conference ELISE session 2021
Presentation INSPIRE ESPUS Conference, Slovakia: Location interoperability best practices - ISA² ELISE action and Slovakia positioning 2021
Training ELISE Location Interoperability Workshop Pack 2021
Training Improving spatial skills - includes INSPIRE training platform self-learning modules  


helpFurther Reading


Version: EULF Blueprint v5.1