INFRASTRUCTURE FOR SPATIAL INFORMATION IN EUROPE (INSPIRE): FROM CARTOGRAPHY TO SPATIAL OBJECTS AND NETWORK SERVICES
P. Smits, K. Toth
European Commission, DG Joint Research Centre
The traditional workflows in geography and cartography have been redefined by the change in the production paradigm. From the single purpose data collection the focus has been shifted to information management; to the establishment of spatial data infrastructures (SDI) at local, national, regional and global levels.
The concept for establishing the European SDI emerged from the need of the environment, where GIS give an efficient framework for data processing together with effective communication tool for representing information. The INSPIRE Directive of the European Commission, which has been agreed upon by the European Parliament and the Council will enforce better and wider use of the data and the interoperability between the systems operated by the Member States. In order to bring the initiative to success the provisions for the implementation will be based on the consensus of the participants. Five working groups, called Drafting Teams, are working on the aspects of metadata, data harmonisation, network services, data sharing and implementation monitoring.
How do the traditions and the emerging technology interact in case of SDI and cartography? By its nature SDI is a much wider notion. Never the less, the experience of cartography directly contributes, amongst others, to the following aspects of SDI:
In spite that SDIs are usually defined within service oriented architecture, certain data harmonisation work is usually needed, which takes place at semantic, schema, data and information product level. Cartography has accumulated experience in describing and classifying the Universe with consistent models and in coherent channelling information to the users.
Experience in coupling different levels of aggregation with reasonable spatial resolution (scale) and meaningful data quality requirements is another asset of cartography.
A natural requirement in SDI is that objects represented at different level of details are consistent. Multiple-representation is widely researched and practiced in digital cartography.
Portrayal plays an important role in discovery and viewing services, but also in communication of the spatially enabled information. Clear legend, adaptive zooming with the appropriate multiple-representation and generalisation capabilities in the background greatly facilitate this task.
The presentation and the full paper will explain how the above fields may contribute to SDI building at European level, based on the requirements of the INSPIRE Directive.