I was invited to speak at the annual INSPIRE conference in Edinburgh last month. INSPIRE remember is the European Commission programme supported by national legislation to build a Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) for European Environmental data. I was asked specifically to address how INSPIRE can foster innovation and “smart growth”.
These are excellent topics to discuss in relation to SDI development, SDI’s I’m afraid are still designed and where built operated almost solely from the perspective of data providers rather than users. INSPIRE is in some ways a victim of this mindset, although there is a clearly defined user in the form of European Commission organisations. Here the issue is one of scope to really maximise the innovative potential INSPIRE, organisations need to gone beyond the strict requirement to make their information available to the Commission and share as widely as possible by adopting the principles of Open Government Data.
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