INSPIRE Revisions are Opportunity to Improve Geospatial Governance: EuroGeographics

GreenData4All’s plans to update rules for environmental spatial data are an opportunity to better govern and access geospatial information within the European Union (EU), says EuroGeographics.

The not-for-profit association for Europe’s National Mapping, Cadastral and Land Registration Authorities (NMCAs) welcomed modernization of INSPIRE Directive rules but warned that removing location data from its scope risks having little or no governance in the geospatial sector. It added that the GreenData4All initiative should include a separate chapter for geospatial data and its role in the Green Deal data space, noting that inclusion of NMCAs is vital for overcoming shortcomings in existing governance.

Marjana Zelic, Senior Research and Policy Officer, EuroGeographics said: “Revision of the INSPIRE Directive represents an important milestone for EuroGeographics’ members, many of whom have invested significant resources in its implementation to ensure their data is discoverable, accessible and interoperable. Whilst we support any action to simplify the technical provisions, such as data harmonisation and network services, previous investments must be protected and solutions identified to finance new ones.”

“Information about location is a critical component for environmental monitoring and reporting providing an accurate continuous observation of the territory, which is necessary for the Green Deal. While INSPIRE is rigid, it provides a clear framework for managing geospatial data and at least half of the 34 cross-sectoral categories within its existing thematic scope are from the geospatial sector. Indeed, the Implementing Act on High-Value Datasets (HVD) refers to the INSPIRE rules to make listed geospatial data available and accessible for reuse, and as the official national providers of map, cadastral and land registration information, our members appreciate this level of coherence.”

“Without defining which other sectoral tools would cover non-environmental data if it is removed from the scope of INSPIRE, there is a risk of having little or no governance in the geospatial sector. Currently there is no dependable policy framework or ‘home’ for geospatial within the EU, with the management of the sector fragmented across various directives including Open Data and PSI Reuse and the Implementing Act on HVD, as well as INSPIRE.”

“As a continuation of 15 years of investment in the implementation of INSPIRE, EuroGeographics’ members are keen to make their data available for the future Green Deal data space which they consider a priority. This is therefore an opportunity to develop an appropriate solution to better govern both geospatial data and the geospatial knowledge infrastructure. These support not only Green Deal priority actions on climate change, circular economy, zero pollution, biodiversity, and deforestation, but every single data space in the European Strategy for Data.”

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