ESDI & INSPIRE | Overarching structure | Minimise costs | Quality

A revised strategy for EuroGeographics was discussed and agreed at its General Assembly of October 2004 in Athens. The strategy outlines:

  • the role and function of EuroGeographics and its member NMCAs in the wider pan-European geographic information (GI) market
  • and the anticipated adoption of the INSPIRE directive that will legislate for the development of Europe’s Spatial Data Infrastructure (ESDI)

In developing this strategy the EuroSpec programme aims at the following main objectives:

1) EuroSpec represents the collective contributions of its members to achieving data interoperability and creating the foundation of an European Spatial Data Infrastructure (ESDI), at the same time helping to implement the INSPIRE directive.

EuroSpec meets demand from public and commercial organisations for cross-border and pan-European information that is harmonised, easy to access and integrate, and of a high quality. This data is essential for good governance, the delivery of improved public services. Increasingly, it is being used to benefit business and the citizen through commercial applications such as transport, finance, marketing, telecommunication and retail.

By coordinating activities and addressing processes, the EuroSpec programme will support EuroGeographics members, in partnership with the other big player of the GI market, in the creation of an ESDI and will make a major contribution to INSPIRE.

2) EuroSpec provides an overarching structure to the many individual projects being undertaken to attain interoperability between members’ datasets.

Many such projects identify the requirements of users, analyse the market, determine specifications and create prototypes for specific layers of harmonised reference information. Each project contributes to the wider work undertaken by EuroGeographics on global data models, pricing and licensing infrastructures, partnership establishment and system architecture.

EuroGeographics’ influence and success is totally founded on members’ dedication and collaboration. The considerable work undertaken and milestones reached to date are thanks to the partnerships and effective relationships that its member NMCAs have forged through its various Expert Groups and Projects.

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3) The programme helps to minimise the costs involved in producing, maintaining, delivering and using reference information, and as such helps remove many barriers impeding progress in all sectors related to geographic information.

By developing a shared vision of the modelling of Reference Information, its maintenance and distribution, overall economy of scale will be achieved. Maximum re-use of information will become a realistic target, and considerable savings in data processing will result from the ensuing cross-border interoperability. The programme will thus minimize costs for producers, and therefore reducing usage rights for all types of users.

4) The Quality policy of EuroSpec defines a general framework for quality management of datasets. A quality implementation plan describes the general processes of how the quality policy will be implemented throughout the EuroSpec programme and its diverse constituents.

The key players of the policy are the users, the NMCAs, EuroGeographics and the service providers. Quality management processes include identifying the users' requirements, development of a general quality model for datasets, setting the quality requirements e.g. conformance levels, control and evaluation procedures in data production and delivery and reporting the quality results to the users in metadata.

The Expert Group on quality will manage the quality implementation plan and all EuroSpec projects will describe quality models for the datasets. Both Quality policy and the implementation plan are using the international standards (e.g. ISO 9000, ISO19100) and best practices among the NMCAs.

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