The minutes summarise the main conclusions and actions from the meeting. Actions are indicated in the minutes using check boxes and are tracked in the "Open actions" section below.
The meeting was attended by experts from Austria, Czechia, Portugal, Slovenia, Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, Germany, Estonia, Sweden, Spain, Italy, Hungary, Poland, Norway, Greece, Belgium, Slovakia, France, Bulgaria, the European Environment Agency (EEA), DG Environment and the Joint Research Centre (JRC).
The meeting clearly showed progress with the implementation of INSPIRE.
On one hand this was reflected in a keen interest of Member States (MS) in the indicators, which will for the first time be automatically calculated based on the metadata available in the geoportal (rather than based on self-declaration of the MS). There is therefore a growing demand for and growing expectations in terms of reliability and stability of the central infrastructure components, in particular the geoportal backend & tools and the reference validator. It became also clear that clear communication about versioning and releases of these tools is crucial.
On the other hand, the growing emphasis on usability in the geoportal and the attempts (by ESTAT, EEA and JRC) to build pan-European data sets on selected themes (e.g. administrative units, geographical names or transport networks) clearly illustrates that are still many hurdles to be overcome for the INSPIRE infrastructure to be really usable. These include availability and accessibility of the data (missing metadata, restrictive/unclear licence conditions, access control mechanisms, pricing), technical issues with services, lack of harmonisation.
One topic that was intensively discussed was the overall implementation approach of several MS focussing on meeting INSPIRE legal requirements and building in parallel a national infrastructure that contains richer data and higher quality services. It was agreed that this topic should be discussed at the next MIG meeting, including the level of ambition of the Commission for the INSPIRE infrastructure (in particular regarding data harmonisation) and how to integrate INSPIRE representations and services better into the existing national infrastructures.
There was keen interest in the work on an alternative encoding for simple Address and Environmental Monitoring Station data based on GeoJSON under action 2017.2. AT and ES have extended this work to GeoPackage, which can be used to exchange complete data sets as SQLite data bases, at different levels of complexity. Also, there was strong support to develop a Good Practice document for download services based on the new OGC API – Features standard. It was agreed to propose this as a new action for the MIWP to the MIG.
It was further agreed to close the ad-hoc MIG-T actions on improving the discovery of geospatial data in mainstream search engines and one persistent ids and linked data, ideally with short summary reports of the outcomes.
Finally, it was agreed to reduce the number of regular MIG-T meetings to 4 per year (2 face-to-face and 2 virtual), and to have additional ad-hoc meetings or webinars on dedicated topics (proposed by MS), as needed.
Release of new geoportal version (indicator calculation and feature type viewer):
MS Testing of new geoportal version:
Final release of indicator calculation:
Deadline for harvesting and confirming calculated indicators:
Geoportal & validator workshop: end of January / beginning of February 2020
Some front-runners, but many countries lagging behind, in particular for downloadable and priority data sets - see detailed statistics in DOC-2 Geoportal Dataset Analytics [PDF].
Data providers' checklist (with some clarifications, e.g. add Atom to graphics) and FAQ welcomed.
SOS and WCS not a priority right now.
JRC explained nature of recent issues with harvesting and promised to improve on communication of planned updates.
JRC explained stricter rules for downloadable data sets (checking now also whether a linked service actually responds), which has negatively affected the number of dpwnloadable data sets in some countries
What is the priority of moving linkage checker into reference validator?
Probably not this year, main priority is on stability of validator and improving performance of metadata validation
JRC presented the proposed calculation of each indicator introduced in the new M&R Decision - see (PRES) and the proposed timing for MS testing (4-15 Nov) and release (29 Nov).
ENV stated that the focus of the monitoring is on trends - how is implementation progressing (or degressing) in terms of implementation - rather than on absolute numbers
There was a request to access the raw data to check correctness of calculation of indicators by some MS. This information is already available through the error messages in the harvesting reports. The JRC will investigate the possibility to provide more detailed information through the planned API to the Geoportal (to be discussed in the geoportal workshop planned in early 2020).
There was a discussion on the possibility for countries with large number of data sets (e.g. FR, DE) to provide several catalogues instead of just one national discovery service. This is already working well in other countries (e.g. BE, AT).
All countries with large numbers of data sets to reflect on this possibility and provide feedback to JRC.
The EC confirmed that the indicators will be published in the INSPIRE in your country section of the IKB (as part of the country fiches).
EC and EEA to discuss whether a copy could also be stored in Reportnet for archiving purposes.
The JRC confirmed that the harvesting to be used for the indicator calculation needs to be performed and the indicators have to be confirmed by MS at the latest by 15/12 of each year. Depending on the date of availability of the indicator calculation, in 2019, there will be some flexibility, however.
The JRC confirmed that for identification of PDS and Spatial scope, either anchor + code list (this is the preferred option) or agreed free text can be used.
The EC confirmed that the calculation of MD conformity element will be based on the agreed tests (action 2017.4) of the reference validator, while for data and services the conformity statement will remain a self-declaration. However, also here MS are strongly encouraged to use the reference validator to evaluate conformity.
JRC encouraged to set up national validation endpoints to support validation. This also allows the definition of additional (national) validation rules.
MS experience on metadata and indicators
JRC presented the outcomes of the testing on simplification of data-service linking and the next steps.
Volunteering countries to test agreed implementation of the resource locator.
JRC to implement support in the geoportal back-end.
Discuss outcomes in the planned geoportal workshop in early 2020.
Discuss possible impacts on IRs and TGs - including the proposed simplification of service metadata.
Present the outcomes to MIG for endorsement
JRC presented the current and planned support for metadata TG v2.0 in the geoportal. MS are encouraged to mo
Geoportal Harvesting Console will offer a selection between 2.0 or 1.3 MD schemas
Geoportal back-end process evaluates the version and provides “error messages” if version wrongly selected
In case of “mixed 1.3/2.0 MD records” in the Discovery service = the Geoportal will accept (some MD info – conditions on access & use might be missing)
The calculation of the M&R indicators will not be effected
Several MS presented good examples of automating MD creation and data-service linking as much as possible.
NO presented a bulk download tool based on atom feeds, available as open source on Github.
NL presented a MD 1.3-2.0 translation script, only 2 elements need to be added manually
The XSLT transformation file NL metadata profile 1.3 (TG INSPIRE 1.3) to NL metadata profile 2.0 (TG INSPIRE 2.0) is available on Github.
MS are encouraged to share their approaches, scripts and tools in the new "software and tools" section of the Community Forum.
DE gave a good example on their expectations of the indicator values, based on their own calculations. Other MS are encouraged to do a similar exercise.
HU widened the discussion on indicators reflecting business needs for the EU SDI.
“As-is” vs. INSPIRE-compliant data sets
The presentation illustrated the issue related to the conformity indicator and proposed a solution based on the notion of "distributions" (as used in DCAT) to avoid the reaction to remove "as-is" data from the infrastructure to improve the indicator value.
The main interest should be to monitor the availability of harmonised data sets and ultimately, the coverage of each harmonised feature type.
A discussion ensued on the approach used in the MS for implementing INSPIRE, and in particular the obligations on data interoperability. It raised the question of the relationship of INSPIRE-specific services and data representations and the existing (national) infrastructure.
The MIG-T concluded that
the discussion clearly shows that we have moved into the implementation phase,
it should be avoided that as-is data is removed just to improve the conformity indicator, and
this is a wider discussion on the level of ambition of the INSPIRE infrastructure and its relationship with national infrastructures - that should be held in the MIG.
EC to inform the MIG on the MIG-T discussion, and confirm the EC's view on the the ambitions of the INSPIRE infrastructure (in particular, with respect to data interoperability and in light of the INSPIRE evaluation in 2021/22).
MIG to discuss the relationship between INSPIRE services and data representations and the national infrastructures.
Geoportal “Open data” and “Feature type” viewers
JRC presented planned update of the geoportal (feature type viewer) planned to be release as beta for testing in November.
The survey on "Open data" revealed that many different and difficult-to-implement scenarios for identifying open data in the MS. The planned filter in the geoportal is therefore not currently a priority and should be discussed in the planned geoportal workshop.
Authentication and data organisation
JRC to assess the number of network services with authentication by MS
MS to propose solutions (e.g. specific credentials) for allowing the geoportal to access protected services to assess downloadability/viewability
JRC to investigate possible filters to be added in the geoportal to identify open, protected & checked and protected & not checked services.
Data Sets and Data Series Challenge
The presentation highlighted the issues several MS have in organising big data sets (e.g. national cadastre or orthoimagery) for discovery, download and view in INSPIRE.
The recommendation is to document such data sets as data set series (with one entry in the national discovery service), pointing to several data sets at a specific level of aggregation (e.g. region, municipality, theme).
Different organisational solutions and standards exist for organising the data in download and view services, incl. encodings such as GeoPackage and the new OGC API: Features.
All MS are encourage to share and discuss their solution(s) on the INSPIRE Community Forum (in the theme-specific or cross-cutting groups).
Pan-European core data sets – results and experiences (JRC, EEA, ESTAT)
ESTAT, JRC and EEA presented three examples of creating pan-European data sets to support European use cases raised by policy DGs (e.g. REGIO, GROW). The examples demonstrated the increasing demand, but also that there are still many issues, both technical, organisational and legal.
EC informed about the new formal procedure for implementing requests under the Data and Service Sharing Regulation, which will be applied in the coming months.
EC informed about the new Open Data Directive and the on-going work to prepare the impact assessment for the Implementing Regulation on High Value Data Sets.
All MS are encouraged to contact their counterparts in the PSI group and the Open Data Committee, to coordinate about discussions on the High Value Data Sets.
Serving and consuming GML fragments with complex features (LU)
LU to share the implementation experience in the new Tools and Software group on the INSPIRE Community Forum.
Priority data sets
Many participants required clarification of the number of priority data sets, use and mapping to INSPIRE themes to avoid confusion and duplicated efforts with on-going implementation.
DG ENV and EEA will organise a MIWP 2016.5 web-conference in November 2019 to address several issues raised, e.g. use of priority data sets for eReporting and access to up-to-date data, time stamp, clarity on number of data sets, mapping to INSPIRE themes, accounting: datasets vs. referenced data, derogations (including EFTA countries).
It was proposed to provide a document on mapping between the environmental (thematic) directives and INSPIRE themes that could be published in Reportnet (EEA to consider).
Analysis of PDS implementation will be provided for the next MIG meeting to decide on further work.
One of the main messages was that the purpose and the use of the priority data is not limited to the reporting use case. The main objective is to provide access to historical and up-to-date data underpinning policy evaluation, development and implementation (including reporting) in different thematic areas related to the environment.
Follow-up action search engine workshop
JRC and PL to summarise the main findings from the workshop in a short report. The example for PID management presented by DE should be included as an example.
The MIG-T endorsed the proposal to close the ad-hoc action.
Linked data and PIDs
IT and other contributors to summarise the main findings from the ad-hoc action in a short report.
The MIG-T endorsed the proposal to close the ad-hoc action.
OGC API - Features
The MIG-T proposes to the MIG to include a new action on creating a Good Practice document describing how to set up an INSPIRE download service based on OGC API - Features.
DK, FI and JRC to create an initial draft of the Good Practice document for INSPIRE download services based on OGC API - Features.
The GP document should focus on step-by-step instructions (without requiring INSPIRE-specific extensions to the adopted standard) needed to meet the INSPIRE requirements. The mapping to the NS IR should be put in an annex.
DK, FI and JRC to draft an action fiche for submission to the MIG
Proposers of new Good Practices to follow closely the procedure for INSPIRE Good Practices and ensure good client and server support and enough documentation to enable the reproducibility of the proposed approaches.