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INSPIRE Shared Services

The European INSPIRE Directive obliges Member States to ensure the availability of spatial data and related network services belonging to the 34 themes of the 3 Annexes of the INSPIRE Directive. In the Czech Republic this is done through the National INSPIRE Geoportal (under the responsibility of the Ministry of the Environment), which includes a central metadata catalogue containing metadata of spatial data, network services and map compositions created from them. The INSPIRE National Geoportal makes spatial data and services on top of spatial data available for national purposes, for the needs of public administration and other entities (public, private companies) of the Czech Republic.

The INSPIRE Directive establishes uniform binding standards in the form of regulations and recommendatory and technical implementing guidelines that complement the individual regulations. The basis for the regulations and guidelines are the globally applicable ISO standards of the 19 1XX series or documents known as OGC (Open Geospatial Consortium) standards, but INSPIRE introduces some additional specifications. Technical implementation guidelines for services over spatial data are published at INSPIRE has a similar list of service types as the national infrastructure, but within INSPIRE the services over spatial data are precisely named and specified. These services are discovery services (services that enable metadata to be found and made available), browsing services, download services (online or in the form of pre-built datasets), transformation services and services that enable the launch of services over spatial data. These services are then divided within INSPIRE into harmonised (over INSPIRE datasets), interoperable (making data available in the ETRS89 geodetic reference system) and discoverable (described by metadata). These services do not have to be provided by each provider alone, the tools of the INSPIRE National Geoportal can also be used to ensure compliance with the INSPIRE Directive. Due to the different terms for service consistency and interoperability of spatial data, with the exception of the CGIAR, all accessible viewing services display non-harmonised (non-conforming) data. ČÚZK, as the central administrative office of surveying and cadastre of real estate of the Czech Republic responsible for geodetic systems binding on the territory of the country, also operates a transformation service enabling the transformation of coordinates from S-JTSK to ETRS89 using refined transformation keys.

Act 123/1998 Coll. obliges providers to make spatial data available on the basis of licence agreements. The related Commission Regulation (EUS) No 268/2010 sets a deadline for the delivery of data and services requested by EU institutions and bodies (20 days from the request). To speed up communication, the Implementing Guidelines of this Regulation recommend the use of two types of licence agreements for INSPIRE data and services, namely a basic agreement (for free data with the purpose of use for which INSPIRE was primarily created) and a specific agreement (where payment may already be required, the purposes of use may be extended, etc.).

A brief overview of the obligations to meet the technical requirements of INSPIRE (see INSIRE Implementation Strategy for details):

  1. Create, make available and update metadata of INSPIRE data and services (in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1205/2008); Metadata must be made available to the INSPIRE National Geoportal either through a service created on top of each provider's catalogue or by storing the metadata in the geoportal catalogue. Applications using spatial data can also be described with metadata.
  2. make available search and browse network services (in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 976/2009); A search service is required to allow services to be found based on specified search criteria and a browse service to allow datasets to be viewed.
  3. to create and update newly created or extensively reconstructed datasets; It is required to publish spatial data in GML format according to the data specifications within a maximum of 6 months from the start of its validity in production databases, to monitor its quality and to make information about it available in metadata.
  4. Make available download and transformation network services (to be in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 976/2009); It is required to allow downloading of INSPIRE datasets on-line (WFS) or 'pre-prepared datasets' off-line. The transformation services shall be able to transform non-harmonised datasets in GML format into the required geodetic reference system. It is required to ensure the quality of the service and to describe it in the metadata;
  5. provide access to datasets and services to the European Union institutions and bodies (in accordance with Regulation (EU) No 268/2010); It is required to provide datasets or services to the European Union institutions and bodies within 20 days of receipt of the request, with the possibility of using a standardised licence.
  6. To have interoperable and harmonised spatial data services in accordance with Regulation (EU) No 1089/2010; To have services enabling the launch of spatial data based services in accordance with the amended Regulation (EC) No 976/2009; Required to make available information on the quality of services and to add additional interoperability operations to the services (by October 2020).

In implementing the technical requirements of the INSPIRE Directive, the demands of the different activities of data providers need to be further differentiated according to their role in relation to the creation, management and development of the INSPIRE infrastructure. The involvement of all stakeholders in the INSPIRE infrastructure implies that they are divided into different roles in relation to spatial data, services based on spatial data and/or applications built on top of data or services. It goes without saying that a single provider may act in multiple roles:

  • Mandatory entity (defined in Article 2(b) of Act No. 123/1998 Coll.)
  • Other provider (defined in Article 11a(3) of Act No. 123/1998 Coll.)
  • INSPIRE National Dataset Manager - the mandatory body responsible for the consolidation and publication of the resulting INSPIRE National Dataset if it is the sole provider for a given topic of the INSPIRE Annexes. Otherwise, it coordinates the co-producers contributing their spatial data to the content of the INSPIRE national dataset (precisely and fully defined in the INSPIRE Implementation Strategy)
  • INSPIRE National Dataset Co-host - One or more mandatory bodies for a given topic of the INSPIRE Annexes, responsible for the harmonisation of the relevant part of the NDSI (defined precisely and completely in the INSPIRE Implementation Strategy)

The table provides a basic overview of the areas that are mandatory for each role:

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