The feedback from the 2018 conference was overall positive (see Sli.do results).
In particular, participants liked
the shorter duration of the conference (3.5 days),
the relaxed atmosphere, which some attributed to the set-up of the coffee/lunch area, with many tables that facilitated small side-meetings and networking,
the social events (but some criticised that numbers were limited),
that workshop and parallel sessions were mixed throughout the programme (however, some participants preferred the old formula, where workshop and parallel sessions took place on different days and hence there was less competition),
the shorter duration of presentations (10 to max. 15 min), while several participants suggested to bring back the 5 min speed presentations,
the inspiring plenary presentations (going beyond INSPIRE implementation and outlining why INSPIRE is needed) and better gender balance in the plenaries.
Participants criticised that the workshop sessions were not recorded and suggested that this should be done (again) in the future. One idea for the future could be to combine speed presentations with the poster session (maybe under a different, more attractive name).
It was generally recognised that implementation has progressed across the board (there were more presentations about real implementations and their issues and success stories) and that there was more exchange of experiences between participants / MS. However, the presented applications and use cases were often local, regional or national and not so much cross-border or European (this could be a topic for the 2020 conference). The technical sessions (e.g. on emerging standards or Spatial Data on the Web) were very well attended. While some sessions focused on user uptake and use cases, this is still widely seen as an area that can be improved.
Joeri reported that there were 70 participants from the Commission, and that most colleagues were very impressed by the unique community present at the conference and the good mix of political and technical presentations.
For the next conference in 2020, several participants suggested to focus on the future vision for INSPIRE in 2025-2030 (incl. the creation and use of pan-European data sets and the integration of new data sources, e.g. from citizens) and showcasing the results of streamlining, simplification and the stronger focus on using INSPIRE data, also considering the upcoming review of the INSPIRE Directive in 2021.
There was also strong support for a smaller, more technical, event in Finland in autumn 2019 (possibly focusing on hackathons, challenges or other "hands-on" topics). Jari reported that discussions on the event are on-going, and suggestions are welcome. The following ideas were raised:
involve people from other domains (e.g. statistics, health, …) and illustrate possible use in public and private sector
a technical focus is good, but the event should have concrete environmental applications / challenges, in order to bring environmental communities into the discussion.
focus on the same topics as the 2018 conference (digital transformation for sustainability), but look at them from a more technical perspective
organise a hackathon or challenge on INSPIRE data (as now available through the geoportal); this could lead also to a fresh set of requirements
looking at emerging technologies and standards outside the current INSPIRE focus (e.g. https://www.sketchup.com for 3D data)
organise a challenge based on the real problems faced by a small country (e.g. Iceland) when implementing INSPIRE
It was also suggested to organise a (closed) MIG workshop to discuss on possible future directions of INSPIRE, also in autumn 2019. This workshop should provide the opportunity to brainstorm, discuss in an open atmosphere, which is usually difficult in the formal MIG meetings.
2016.5 Priority data sets and Thematic Viewer
JRC presented the current status of availability of spatial data sets through download and view services in the new geoportal and the future development plans as well as plans for setting up an advisory board. A technical workshop will be organised on 23-24 January 2019 with the administrators of national discovery services.
During the discussion, the following comments were made:
In some cases, the low accessibility figures could be caused by access restrictions. It should be checked by JRC whether/how this can be taken into account.
In some cases, the low accessibility figures could be caused by data providers not following the Metadata TGs, but just the IRs. However, the geoportal cannot implement different solutions, unless they are clearly described in the agreed TGs.
The INSPIRE rules should allow that the rules used in national SDIs can also work, in order to avoid having to maintain two parallel infrastructures.
Many data sets are accessible through other methods (e.g. HTTP download), but not through INSPIRE download services. A possible improvement of the geoportal could be to show also these options for "download through other methods", but this would require a common agreed approach for documenting such alternative downloads.
The new geoportal has the positive effect that, for the first time, data providers are realising whether data are actually usable or not.
The fact, that reference environmental data sets are now available on the web, is big improvement
There is interest in the planned API providing direct access to the geoportal.
Marisol: What software are you using for catalogue? Interest in API
JRC to clarify whether (or by when) the geoportal is (will be) recognising version 2.0 of the MD TGs.
JRC to provide a high-level architecture of the geoportal components and the harvesting workflow
JRC to investigate whether the workshop in January can be recorded or whether a web conference connection can be provided to follow it remotely.
Harvesting feasibility study and Reportnet 3.0 planning
EEA presented the feasibility study on data harvesting using the INSPIRE infrastructure carried out in the context of the preparations for the new Reportnet version 3.0. The governance structure for ReportNet 3.0 consists of a Steering Group including members from the EC (DG ENV), MS and EEA, and a Business Implementation Committee, including members from the EC (DG ENV, JRC), MS and EEA.
INSPIRE data providers should be aware of the requirements catalogue currently being drafted for Reportnet 3.0 that includes also a number of requirements on INSPIRE. Stakeholder feedback is currently being collected through the EIONET National Focal Points, who should consult with their MIG & MIG-T counterparts.
The MIG-T proposes to the MIG and its 2016.5 sub-group to consider developing the feasibility study further into a pilot for INSPIRE-based e-Reporting. Such a pilot could investigate and provide guidance on e.g. the following issues that were already detected in the feasibility study:
How to request concrete objects by their INSPIRE or thematic id?
Is support for ListStoredQueries indeed required (see T-014)?
How to identify/request relevant sub-sets of a data set, e.g. only the Natura 2000 sites inside a more general PS data set?
What is the role of INSPIRE validation? Is full compliance required or is a sub-set of rules sufficient? Can additional rules be included in the INSPIRE reference validator?
How to identify the authoritative data sets to be used (if there are several ones on a given topic)?
How to implement linking of data based on unique ids? (this could be linked to the SDW-5 topic)
How could data model extensions be used as an alternative to the "linked approach"?
SDW1+2: Data-service linking
The discussion was based on the current low level of accessibility of data sets through network services in the new INSPIRE geoportal (below 10%) and a discussion paper proposing to simplify the approach for implementing the link between data and network services. The paper was drafted by a small MIG-T ad-hoc group based on a workshop on 1-2 August 2018 in Ispra, and updated in September based on a first round of comments by the MIG-T.
Before the discussion, participants were asked about their level of agreement to a number of assumptions and aspects of the simplification proposals using Sli.do polls. The results are available in MIG-T 52 poll Data-Service Linking.pdf.
The meeting resulted in the following conclusions, which will be presented, together with the revised version of the discussion paper, to the MIG meeting in November 2018.
The MIG-T recognises that
the level of data-service linking in INSPIRE is insufficient, and many organisations seem to have difficulties to provide implementations in line with the current TGs (even though almost all MS provide at least some data sets with correct data-service linking);
this already has negative impacts on the accessibility of INSPIRE data sets (through the INSPIRE geoportal) and hence the overall usability of the INSPIRE infrastructure;
this will also lead to poor indicators in the future (metadata-based) approach for monitoring and reporting;
the current approach for data-service linking described in the TGs for metadata and network services is complicated, and there are different interpretations of the related requirements, even by implementation/standards experts;
the current approach for service metadata, which requires extensions to base standards, is posing an obstacleto the implementationof INSPIRE requirements for network services (because the required extensions are not widely implemented in off-the-shelf software); and
there is a clear overlap / duplication of data set and service metadata (e.g. bounding box, INSPIRE theme), which in some cases leads to inconsistencies.
The MIG-T supports thenew data-centric approach (already underlying the new geoportal and the proposed revision of the M&R IRs), which focuses on data and how they can be accessed through network services rather than considering data and network services as stand-alone components of the infrastructure. However, it might still be useful for application developers to be able to access a directory/register of the services available in the infrastructure.The MIG-T further recommends that there should be one "source of truth" for service metadata, ideally as provided by the service itself (e.g. in its Capabilities document).Concretely, the MIG-T recommends to the MIG that
the alternative approach for documenting data-service linking in the data set metadata (as proposed in the discussion paper) should be further elaborated and become the preferred option in the Metadata TGs (and/or in a stand-alone guidance document on data-service linking); this guidance should include an explanation how the IR requirements for network service metadata are mapped to the new approach;
the current approach should still be supported for a transition period (to be determined by the MIG) as an alternative option that will be used by the geoportal if no links to network services can be established based on the data set metadata; at the end of the transition period the necessity to further support the current approach should be reviewed;
the Network Service TGs shall be reviewed to reflect the proposed simplification of service metadata (including the elements that could be dropped) and the new approach to document data-service linking;
The MIG-T further asks the Commission to investigatewhether the proposed simplifications would require changes in the IRs or whether they could be implemented by other means, e.g. through a Common Implementation Strategy.  "data-service linking" means that, based on the data set and service metadata available in national discovery services and by following the requirements laid down in the INSPIRE TGs for metadata and network services, a link can be established between a data set and the download and view services that are providing access to it, i.e. that enable the data set to be downloaded and viewed.
Ongoing MIWP actions – Status reports and planning
This agenda point was not discussed, due to lack of time.
All MIG-T members are encouraged to read the background document carefully and to raise any questions or comments by e-mail.
SDW-3: WFS 3.0
A short introduction was given on Web Feature Service 3 (WFS3). WFS3 is the new revision of the OGC's Web Feature Service standard for querying geospatial information on the web. It is a complete rewrite of previous versions, focusing on a simple RESTful core specified as reusable OpenAPI components with responses in JSON and HTML. The first release of the standard is available at OGC Web Feature Service 3.0 - Part 1: Core, First Draft Release. The WFS 3.0 specification is currently under active development and review. Comments and change proposals can still be submitted until the end of 2018. A dedicated page in the MIG collaboration space provides more information about WFS3.
It was agreed to nominate Jari Reini as the official MIG-T representative / liaison with the WFS3 drafting team, with the task to provide the consolidated input and feedback of the INSPIRE community.
The discussion paper analysing how the legal requirements for the implementation of INSPIRE download services can be mapped to the WFS3 standard was presented and discussed. Overall, the mapping seems feasible, except for two possible major issues (to be further investigated): the link to metadata of a data set and the supported filtering capabilities.
The following comments and questions should be taken into account for an updated version of the mapping paper:
Check whether the OpenAPI specification supports all INSPIRE metadata elements
Content negotiation should be used for the language parameter
Discuss how to declare supported languages.
Be clear what the notion of "data set" in INSPIRE should be mapped to in WFS 3.0 - data set or collection
Get Spatial Data Set operation: Clients should be preapred to page through a data set. How can this be argued with respect to the IR requirements? The IRs do not require to be able to download the whole data set in one go.
It could be discussed whether the Get Spatial Dataset operation is always required or whether Get Spatial Object is enough - this would, however, require a change in the IRs (and maybe the Directive).
Should the NS IRs also talk about "download of sub-sets of a dataset" as mentioned in art. 11(1c) of the Directive?
It should be specified how to include links to data set metadata. This is a generic issue, not specific to INSPIRE, and should therefore be submitted on the WFS3 Github space.
Consider to use CRS content negotiation (as already discussed in W3C) instead of CRS parameter as content negotiation. Here we should follow the solution adopted by WFS3 rather than proposing an INSPIRE-specific one.
Will filtering capabilities be the same as in WFS 3.0?
Clarify the relationship between Core conformance class and the supported encoding conformance classes.
Consider possible links to the data-service linking simplification proposal. The OpenAPI doc could be a new service metadata document.
Clarify the meaning of the time parameter in relation to the INSPIRE data models.
During the discussion on language parameters, the question was raised whether these are not a more general issue and whether a change to the implementing rules should be considered for these parameters.
The follwing actions were agreed:
FI and JRC to update the WFS3 mapping paper.
FI and FR (with possible support by IT) to develop example WFS3 implementations for an INSPIRE data set
Jari to submit an issue to the WFS3 issue tracker on how to include links to data set metadata.
DK and JRC to investigate the issue of language parameters in the NS IRs
SDW-4: Discovery of spatial data through mainstream search engines
The MIG-T agreed that the main use case for this activity is to bring more and other users to portals/catalogues and that the activity should result in the development of a good practice document.
At the same time, the break-out group discussions showed that only few MIG-T members are familiar with the topic of search engine optimisation (SEO) for data sets and the underlying standards or technologies. Therefore, rather than further discussing the topic inside the MIG-T, it might better to organise a workshop with technical SEO/catalogue experts. Such a workshop should
collect existing examples, good practices and information about tool support,
discuss experiences and good practices for landing pages of data sets and how these could be generated from catalogue metadata (rather than maintaining the information in different systems)
discuss whether/how to organise a testbed in the EU and/or national geoportals to study the effects of data set (and possibly object) annotations (by measuring the search engine results before and after),
collect feedback and suggestions to search engines for improving data set search, and
collect and discuss possible other uses of data set and object annotations.
To collect input for the workshop and follow-up discussions, a collaboration space (wiki) should be set up.
JRC and Marcin to discuss concrete next steps for the action.
SDW-5: Linking spatial data and unique identifiers
Carlo presented an initial collection of existing practices in Member States and projects on linking geospatial data and managing persistent identifiers. It was agreed to document these on the MIG-T wiki, with the ultimate aim to develop a good practices paper on the topic.
All MIG-T members are encouraged to promote the INSPIRE training platform and get in touch with JRC for translations of content, contribution of additional courses or proposals for missing courses.
JRC to share additional information on the scope of the study on the Role of INSPIRE in the Digital Transformation of Public Administration.
All MIG-T members are encouraged to provide relevant background material for the study on the Role of INSPIRE in the Digital Transformation of Public Administration.
Nathalie invited MIG-T members to the workshop on "Use of INSPIRE data" that will be held on 27-28 November 2018 in Warsaw. The first session will be devoted to the drivers (users and use cases) and the second session to the barriers (technical issues) and how to overcome them. The dead-line for registration is by end of October.
Conclusions and next steps
The next virtual meeting will take place on Thursday, from 10-11:30 CET.
The next face-to-face meetings will tentatively take place