Free and Open Source Software for Geomatics Conference FOSS4G 2010 Barcelona

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Spatial Data Infrastructures (SDI) have been around for several years. But it appears that SDI have not kept what they have promised. With INSPIRE a legal framework is now emerging that aims at leveraging SDI to implement interoperability at a very high level of abstraction. Chances are high that INSPIRE will fail just as badly as SDI did. But is this really true?

Best practices solutions for geospatial data based on Open Source software have emerged on all levels of administration. Those that are based on the same core protocols automagically form part of a global distributed architecture. This architecture has recently be described as the Resource Oriented Architecture (ROA). It is not an up-front planned and designed architecture but the sum of well designed representations of standardized resources that run on top of the application protocol HTTP.

We will show in this presentation that this is not an abstract theory but pragmatic reality. We will trace one geographic resource (zoning ordinance plan) and show how it propagates through all levels of the INSPIRE architecture. For each level special representations of the resource address the needs of the specific users of that level. The following levels are specifically presented:

* Municipality of Landau (40.000 inhabitants)
* City of Mainz (200.000 inhabitants)
* State of Rhineland Palatinate (4 million inhabitants)
* Federal Agency for Cartography and Geodesy (Germany, 81 million inhabitants)
* INSPIRE (Europe with 700 million inhabitants)

The perspectives are not half as bleak as they sometimes appear. But in order to become the glue that binds geospatial data from all levels into a comprehensive whole, INSPIRE must stay an open process and not become a static legal corset.


Arnulf Christl - Metaspatial