News > INSPIRE

This year’s INSPIRE event is being held in Helsinki from the 22nd to the 24th of October, with the theme of harvesting the “Sea the of European Spatial Data”. Coders, project managers and data owners will come together to discuss the latest trends and to inspire new developments.

The Highlights

Data Challenges

The event will facilitate different data challenges that aim at solving real world problems by using open data and innovative technology. The topics for these will range from finding the best seaside vacation whilst ensuring sustainability, to making everyday commutes better by using weather, air quality and road data. Wetransform has also organized a data challenge along with AELER technologies that will focus on optimization of intermodal freight transportation. Whether you’re a student, developer or a project manager, each of these data challenges will provide you with valuable insights into the usage of open data. You can learn more about these challenges here.

Workshops

INSPIRE implementation consists of various stages such as metadata management, data transformation, publishing services and validation. Each of these stages can be tackled in a variety of ways. After these stages have been tackled, you still have to build applications on the INSPIRE standard.

To this end, the event will host workshops that will demonstrate some of the best practices for INSPIRE implementations such as using OGC API features and building applications on top of the INSPIRE standard.

Keynotes

The keynotes will be delivered by some of the most prominent personalities of the INSPIRE world. These are the ones that have been involved in the conceptualization, development, execution and the application of the INSPIRE standard. Bart De Lathouwer (President of the Open Geospatial Consortium), Hanna Niemi-Hugaerts (Director, IoT, Forum Virium) and our very own, Thorsten Reitz (Founder and CEO, wetransform GmbH) will be keynote speakers at the conference.

Their talks will discuss the past, current and future trends relevant to INSPIRE. One of the topics that will be discussed is the usage of simple alternative encodings to improve the usefulness of INSPIRE data.

As a sneak peek of what’s to come, you can check out this video on the GeoJSON Alternative Encoding, and how it acts as an alternative to the INSPIRE standard in order to provide high-quality data visualizations.

Implement INSPIRE with one day of work for just 500€/year

As usual, wetransform representatives will be present at the event and ready to offer advice on implementing the INSPIRE directive. If you’d like to set up a meeting with us to discuss a cost-effective and fast approach to implementing INSPIRE, or if you’d just like come say hi, click on the button below and send us an e-mail!

This year’s INSPIRE event is being held in Helsinki from the 22nd to the 24th of October, with the theme of harvesting the “Sea the of European Spatial Data”. Coders, project managers and data owners will come together to discuss the latest trends and to inspire new developments.

The Highlights

Data Challenges

The event will facilitate different data challenges that aim at solving real world problems by using open data and innovative technology. The topics for these will range from finding the best seaside vacation whilst ensuring sustainability, to making everyday commutes better by using weather, air quality and road data. Wetransform has also organized a data challenge along with AELER technologies that will focus on optimization of intermodal freight transportation. Whether you’re a student, developer or a project manager, each of these data challenges will provide you with valuable insights into the usage of open data. You can learn more about these challenges here.

Workshops

INSPIRE implementation consists of various stages such as metadata management, data transformation, publishing services and validation. Each of these stages can be tackled in a variety of ways. After these stages have been tackled, you still have to build applications on the INSPIRE standard.

To this end, the event will host workshops that will demonstrate some of the best practices for INSPIRE implementations such as using OGC API features and building applications on top of the INSPIRE standard.

Keynotes

The keynotes will be delivered by some of the most prominent personalities of the INSPIRE world. These are the ones that have been involved in the conceptualization, development, execution and the application of the INSPIRE standard. Bart De Lathouwer (President of the Open Geospatial Consortium), Hanna Niemi-Hugaerts (Director, IoT, Forum Virium) and our very own, Thorsten Reitz (Founder and CEO, wetransform GmbH) will be keynote speakers at the conference.

Their talks will discuss the past, current and future trends relevant to INSPIRE. One of the topics that will be discussed is the usage of simple alternative encodings to improve the usefulness of INSPIRE data.

As a sneak peek of what’s to come, you can check out this video on the GeoJSON Alternative Encoding, and how it acts as an alternative to the INSPIRE standard in order to provide high-quality data visualizations.

Implement INSPIRE with one day of work for just 500€/year

As usual, wetransform representatives will be present at the event and ready to offer advice on implementing the INSPIRE directive. If you’d like to set up a meeting with us to discuss a cost-effective and fast approach to implementing INSPIRE, or if you’d just like come say hi, click on the button below and send us an e-mail!

(more)

News entry thumbnail
INSPIRE Goes Global
11.07.2019 by Akshat Bajaj, Thorsten Reitz

The INSPIRE directive was passed in 2007 to facilitate easy exchange of environmental and spatial information. Its purpose is to make data from different sources easily accessible to stakeholders to boost data-driven decision-making. INSPIRE offers high-quality data and a solid foundation to build data-driven processes on. Now, the value offered by the INSPIRE directive is being recognized by private organizations outside of the EU.

Minerva Intelligence Inc applies auditable and explainable AI to complex geoscience problems, ranging from geohazard assessment to mineral target identification to climate law impact. To get the best possible results, Minerva harnesses INSPIRE standards to improve the quality of its AI models.

In one of their projects, Minerva created a freely accessible map of Yukon Mineral Targets. It allows users to identify claimed and unclaimed mineral targets in the Yukon region. Minerva’s software evaluates the best mineral targets based on comparisons of targets with their best-matching mineral deposit models. Each target is assigned a score based on the degree of the match, and the targets with the highest score are displayed. An in-depth report of the scoring mechanism for each target is also available. The report explains how the comparison was done and how the score of each target was determined. These explanations provide a better understanding of the reasoning behind the AI’s decision-making in a simple and concise manner. It gives users information about what they need to investigate when conducting follow-up work on each target.

Yukon Mineral Targets
Yukon Mineral Targets: Targets by Commodity

To improve the results of the AI model and apply it to data from different regions, global terminologies were needed. These terminologies would ensure that the model used in this situation could be reapplied to other similar situations. Standardized terminologies would ensure a high-quality database and improve the results of the AI model. It was also hard to find a specification that would be broadly applicable, since most data specifications are narrow and are built with a specific goal in mind.

To this end, the INSPIRE Geology data format was used for the bedrock geology layer. INSPIRE is an EU-wide standard that provides common terminologies for 44 countries with different types of data. This wide range ensured that the terminologies used in developing parts of this map could also be used for other purposes. The state-of-the-art terminology provided by INSPIRE formed a high-quality basis for the AI’s operations. It facilitated a better analysis of information.

INSPIRE Geology Theme
INSPIRE Geology Layer

Open standards such as INSPIRE create opportunities for collaboration. They create consistency in the storage of data to keep multiple stakeholders in sync. They consolidate data quality to ensure less risks in data processing. Ultimately, they lead to more better data-processing, be it in the private sector or the public sector.

Data standardization, however, can pose a challenge. It is hard to achieve without the right tools and knowledge. It is reported that most organizations spend up to 70% of their time only on data standardization tasks.

hale connect was used to deliver the data and the map shown above. It allowed Minerva to design and publish data that was INSPIRE compliant through a secure methodology that guaranteed high data quality. Through the introduction of a standardised and easily available dataset, Minerva enhanced the results of its AI model and made its predictions more accurate. Since global terminolgies were used, the model could also be used for different regions without having to re-train or re-build the model.

Our toolset effectively helps you to deal with the complexities of standardisation, such as metadata generation and validation, data transformation and the publishing and viewing of services. We’ve already helped over 80 organizations comply with standards such as INSPIRE and XPlanung through our products and services, and we want to keep make standardization easily accessible. Do you want to know how your BI or AI application can benefit from easily accessible, standardized, harmonised data? Send a message to info@wetransform.to, and we can set up a free webinar to guide you through the process!

The INSPIRE directive was passed in 2007 to facilitate easy exchange of environmental and spatial information. Its purpose is to make data from different sources easily accessible to stakeholders to boost data-driven decision-making. INSPIRE offers high-quality data and a solid foundation to build data-driven processes on. Now, the value offered by the INSPIRE directive is being recognized by private organizations outside of the EU.

Minerva Intelligence Inc applies auditable and explainable AI to complex geoscience problems, ranging from geohazard assessment to mineral target identification to climate law impact. To get the best possible results, Minerva harnesses INSPIRE standards to improve the quality of its AI models.

In one of their projects, Minerva created a freely accessible map of Yukon Mineral Targets. It allows users to identify claimed and unclaimed mineral targets in the Yukon region. Minerva’s software evaluates the best mineral targets based on comparisons of targets with their best-matching mineral deposit models. Each target is assigned a score based on the degree of the match, and the targets with the highest score are displayed. An in-depth report of the scoring mechanism for each target is also available. The report explains how the comparison was done and how the score of each target was determined. These explanations provide a better understanding of the reasoning behind the AI’s decision-making in a simple and concise manner. It gives users information about what they need to investigate when conducting follow-up work on each target.

Yukon Mineral Targets
Yukon Mineral Targets: Targets by Commodity

To improve the results of the AI model and apply it to data from different regions, global terminologies were needed. These terminologies would ensure that the model used in this situation could be reapplied to other similar situations. Standardized terminologies would ensure a high-quality database and improve the results of the AI model. It was also hard to find a specification that would be broadly applicable, since most data specifications are narrow and are built with a specific goal in mind.

To this end, the INSPIRE Geology data format was used for the bedrock geology layer. INSPIRE is an EU-wide standard that provides common terminologies for 44 countries with different types of data. This wide range ensured that the terminologies used in developing parts of this map could also be used for other purposes. The state-of-the-art terminology provided by INSPIRE formed a high-quality basis for the AI’s operations. It facilitated a better analysis of information.

INSPIRE Geology Theme
INSPIRE Geology Layer

Open standards such as INSPIRE create opportunities for collaboration. They create consistency in the storage of data to keep multiple stakeholders in sync. They consolidate data quality to ensure less risks in data processing. Ultimately, they lead to more better data-processing, be it in the private sector or the public sector.

Data standardization, however, can pose a challenge. It is hard to achieve without the right tools and knowledge. It is reported that most organizations spend up to 70% of their time only on data standardization tasks.

hale connect was used to deliver the data and the map shown above. It allowed Minerva to design and publish data that was INSPIRE compliant through a secure methodology that guaranteed high data quality. Through the introduction of a standardised and easily available dataset, Minerva enhanced the results of its AI model and made its predictions more accurate. Since global terminolgies were used, the model could also be used for different regions without having to re-train or re-build the model.

Our toolset effectively helps you to deal with the complexities of standardisation, such as metadata generation and validation, data transformation and the publishing and viewing of services. We’ve already helped over 80 organizations comply with standards such as INSPIRE and XPlanung through our products and services, and we want to keep make standardization easily accessible. Do you want to know how your BI or AI application can benefit from easily accessible, standardized, harmonised data? Send a message to info@wetransform.to, and we can set up a free webinar to guide you through the process!

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Man-made CO2 emissions are a key contributor to global climate change. A large portion of these emissions are generated by freight transport. Water and rail transport are more efficient than road transport in terms of CO2 emissions. Currently, however, Road transport accounts for 75% of freight transport in Europe.

We challenge you to use the wide range of available data to explore the efficiency of intermodal freight transport in Europe. This includes optimizing road, waterway and railway utilization based on factors such as Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA) confidence, risk, cost and CO2 emissions.

For the whole month of September, we will provide you with the resources and support so that you can develop demo routing software that identifies and visualises the most efficient intermodal transport.

When you have developed your software, describe it in a short report. Provide a short video or a demo link. Based on these submissions, the organisers will choose the finalists who get a chance to present their solution at the Inspire Helsinki 2019 event, where the final winner will be decided.

Participants stand a chance to win the following prizes:

  • All finalists:
    • Free trip to Helsinki for the final event for one team member
  • First Place:
    • Free trip to INSPIRE 2020 in Dubrovnik for one team member
    • High-Quality electric scooters for up to five team members (500 € value each)
  • Second Place:
    • Sport headphones for up to five team members (100 € value each)

More details can be found here.

Important dates and deadlines:

  • Webinar for challenge introduction: July 14th, 2019
  • Deadline for registration: August 16th 2019. You can find the registration form here.
  • Deadline for written submission of team results: September 30th, 2019
  • Inspire Helsinki 2019 event: October 22nd to 24th, 2019

Man-made CO2 emissions are a key contributor to global climate change. A large portion of these emissions are generated by freight transport. Water and rail transport are more efficient than road transport in terms of CO2 emissions. Currently, however, Road transport accounts for 75% of freight transport in Europe.

We challenge you to use the wide range of available data to explore the efficiency of intermodal freight transport in Europe. This includes optimizing road, waterway and railway utilization based on factors such as Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA) confidence, risk, cost and CO2 emissions.

For the whole month of September, we will provide you with the resources and support so that you can develop demo routing software that identifies and visualises the most efficient intermodal transport.

When you have developed your software, describe it in a short report. Provide a short video or a demo link. Based on these submissions, the organisers will choose the finalists who get a chance to present their solution at the Inspire Helsinki 2019 event, where the final winner will be decided.

Participants stand a chance to win the following prizes:

  • All finalists:
    • Free trip to Helsinki for the final event for one team member
  • First Place:
    • Free trip to INSPIRE 2020 in Dubrovnik for one team member
    • High-Quality electric scooters for up to five team members (500 € value each)
  • Second Place:
    • Sport headphones for up to five team members (100 € value each)

More details can be found here.

Important dates and deadlines:

  • Webinar for challenge introduction: July 14th, 2019
  • Deadline for registration: August 16th 2019. You can find the registration form here.
  • Deadline for written submission of team results: September 30th, 2019
  • Inspire Helsinki 2019 event: October 22nd to 24th, 2019

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You probably heard the question “How can citizens benefit from the European Union” many times already, and might have wondered about that too. After all, we often hear that things get regulated like crazy and that the EU is too bureaucratic. The European Union has brought a lot of advantages to the citizens of its members and associated countries, such as:

  • Investments into infrastructure, especially in less developed areas through structural funding
  • Clean lakes and Rivers through the Water Framework Directive
  • Better air quality through lead-free patrol and air quality reporting
  • Less noise through the Noise Directive
  • More consumer rights, e.g. in air travel and telecommunications
  • Labour protection and workplace security
  • Simplified travel and exchange of goods
  • Strong wildlife protection (Habitats Directive, Natura 2000, many others)

If you scratch the surface, the INSPIRE directive doesn’t seem to have much to do with the list above. If you look deeper, however, INSPIRE actually supports many of these activities directly. INSPIRE is thus more than making your network services interoperable. It ensures that information can be shared between agencies, citizens and businesses with maximum efficiency. By harnessing the full power of interoperable geodata, it is not only the GIS community that benefits. Interoperable geodata creates a ripple effect which makes life easier for inter-governmental decision-makers and organizations. As boundaries between data disappear, policy decisions take less time and have better outcomes.

The INSPIRE Directive encompasses 34 different data themes, all of which help the population in certain capacities. Here are a couple of highlights.

You probably heard the question “How can citizens benefit from the European Union” many times already, and might have wondered about that too. After all, we often hear that things get regulated like crazy and that the EU is too bureaucratic. The European Union has brought a lot of advantages to the citizens of its members and associated countries, such as:

  • Investments into infrastructure, especially in less developed areas through structural funding
  • Clean lakes and Rivers through the Water Framework Directive
  • Better air quality through lead-free patrol and air quality reporting
  • Less noise through the Noise Directive
  • More consumer rights, e.g. in air travel and telecommunications
  • Labour protection and workplace security
  • Simplified travel and exchange of goods
  • Strong wildlife protection (Habitats Directive, Natura 2000, many others)

If you scratch the surface, the INSPIRE directive doesn’t seem to have much to do with the list above. If you look deeper, however, INSPIRE actually supports many of these activities directly. INSPIRE is thus more than making your network services interoperable. It ensures that information can be shared between agencies, citizens and businesses with maximum efficiency. By harnessing the full power of interoperable geodata, it is not only the GIS community that benefits. Interoperable geodata creates a ripple effect which makes life easier for inter-governmental decision-makers and organizations. As boundaries between data disappear, policy decisions take less time and have better outcomes.

The INSPIRE Directive encompasses 34 different data themes, all of which help the population in certain capacities. Here are a couple of highlights.

Human Health and Safety:

Information from different sources (such as environmental data) needs to be aggregated and analyzed to form a well-planned health and safety infrastructure.

The Human Health and Safety theme ties in with various other themes such as Natural Risk Zones, Soil, and Air Pollution data. Based on these insights, it is possible to have an accurate prediction of Health Infrastructure requirements and design. According to the Human Health and Safety Data specifications, “Inspire infrastructure may provide a unique opportunity to identify possible links between health effects and underlying environmental conditions/exposures that might be related to poor or good health.” Dependable geospatial data will help us to identify relations between cases of poor health and potential environmental factors, and to make decisions based on these.

For example, by gathering insights on the changes particulate matter present in the air caused due to a fire in a forest and wind directions, it would be possible to predict a consequential higher particulate matter presence in another location if the data is interoperable and dependable. Based on this, the correct health resources can be prepared and necessary warnings can be sent out. This kind of information also helps to gain insights on the potential causes of diseases.

Natural Risk Zones

Each year, 160 million people are affected by natural disasters (WHO Study.) Trustworthy and dependable data on risk zones must be provided to all stakeholders to ensure that casualties can be prevented.

The natural risk zone theme provides dependable and interoperable geodata about regions that are at a risk of being affected by natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes, and landslides. Access to this data can help citizens better understand the potential consequences of living in or visiting certain locations during certain times of the year. It allows for the accurate assessment of safety standards of regions and help prevent casualties that could arise out of natural disasters, and positively affect land use patterns.

An accurate map of landslide prone areas that are divided into high risk, medium risk and low risk can help people calculate the best and safest travel routes across risk zones. This would also be reflected in other decisions, such as construction practices and building restrictions.

Population Distribution and Demography

Population statistics play a key part in policy-making. The data flow across public sector organizations is important to gain an understanding of regions and to assess the existing situation. This association is critical to understand the economic and social make-up of regions.

The population distribution and demography theme helps identify patterns in population density, and also provides sub-categories for the population such as education level, profession, sex, marital status, nationality and others. The formal definition according to Directive 2007/2/EC is, (a) “Geographical distribution of people, including population characteristics and activity levels, aggregated by grid, region, administrative unit or other analytical unit.” It is tightly tied to the “Statistical Units” theme and does not contain any spatial data in and of itself. Access to this data allows to a better understanding of human settlement models, population demographics and consequently an inclusive and resource-efficient policy-making structure.

Data on population density and the breakdown of population statistics is useful for resource planning and policy making.

Transport Networks

Transportation networks are a critical part of INSPIRE due to the cross-border transport networks that are built across EU member states. These networks facilitate commercial as well as non-commercial activities. Approximately 3.5 million people move across EU borders every day, and more make use of domestic transport networks.(European Added Value Initiative) Reliable and interoperable transport data is required to ensure optimal and safe usage of transport networks.

The transport networks theme aggregates data that is important for maintaining and improving current routes, as well as creating new routes. It ties in with other topographic themes such as water networks, elevation, and land cover. According to the INSPIRE Transport Network Data specifications, “It is mainly focused on the “widely reused – widely referenced” segments of spatial objects, supporting the loose linkage between the diverse organizational data with these spatial objects and allowing the extensibility to fit into diverse applications and user’s needs.

As the shift towards smart cities continues, interoperable transport network data is playing an especially important part in town planning. Transport data such as routes, regular traffic flows and congested zones are aggregated to devise the most efficient transportation strategy. A better transport network also provides more incentive to use less private transport, reducing emissions.

Want to know more about the full benefits of INSPIRE? Thorsten Reitz, the CEO of wetransform, will host a free 40-minute webinar that will allow you to identify and mitigate risks, accurately estimate costs and understand the full benefits of an INSPIRE Implementation. There will be two webinars; one in German and one in English. Details are as follows:

  • German webinar: 17th April, 10 a.m. CET
  • English webinar: 23rd April 10 a.m. CET

Interested? Send us a message to info@wetransform.to with your preferred webinar slot and we’ll get back to you!

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Without the right tools and knowledge, geodata harmonization, e.g. for an Open Standard such as INSPIRE, can be complex and time-consuming. There are a few common patterns that contribute to the complexity of geodata harmonization, and here’s a list of five things that you should look out for when undertaking a data harmonization project.

Without the right tools and knowledge, geodata harmonization, e.g. for an Open Standard such as INSPIRE, can be complex and time-consuming. There are a few common patterns that contribute to the complexity of geodata harmonization, and here’s a list of five things that you should look out for when undertaking a data harmonization project.

Mismatches between the source data and the target data

The mappings between the source data and the target data need to be mapped well. It’s good to have a visual representation of this process. Having a diagram of what the data initially looks like, how it will be mapped, and what exactly it should look like at the end makes things easier to interepret and analyze.

Having the wrong tools

Tools that are currently in place for data harmonization workflows may need to be tweaked or changed. Not every ETL tool can keep up with the increasing complexity and size of datasets. It’s important to assess the capabilities of current tools and see if their capacity can match up to the task at hand. If it can’t, it may be time to look into a new toolset that can better serve your needs and help you perform your tasks easily and efficiently.

Combining software inefficiently

There are different parts of the data harmonization process that include publishing original datasets, metadata generation and validation, data transformation and publishing and viewing of services. There are various tools that you can use for each of these stages, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that the output from each tool will be extensible and guarantee a successful input for the next tool. There is a loss of data consistency if there are too many application breaks, that eventually must be dealt with manually. Ensure that you’re using the right tools that have the right extensibility, or better yet, find a tool that can help you deal with all these steps in an integrated manner.

Not creating documentation

Documentation can give you the edge you need when you’re running low on project times and deadlines are looming. Imagine having an internal go-to-repository of transformation projects to help you out whenever you seem to run into an issue, or already having a specific roadmap laid out for a complex transformation project. This documentation can exist in different forms, for example, a best practices sheet or a target data model prototype set.

Placing high manual efforts in every harmonization process

Even with the correct tools, knowledge, and documentation, project times and costs could still be high because of the amount of manual work that goes in. Harmonization projects often have opportunities for automation; it’s important to identify the parts of the project that don’t need manual intervention. These segments can then be capitalized on by looking into how the process can be automated; this can either be done manually or with the right toolset.

Have any more ideas that could benefit the community? Check out our discussion forum to add on your ideas and link with like-minded people.

Looking for an integrated tool through which you can perform all operations relevant to data transformations? Try hale connect for free!

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