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OpenStreetMap and INSPIRE: Can the twain meet?

by Free and Open Source for Geospatial Architect/Developer at Just Objects (self-employed) on Jan 21, 2012


Talk given at FOSS4G Denver, Wed, 09/14/2011. ...

Talk given at FOSS4G Denver, Wed, 09/14/2011.


The INSPIRE directive ( aims to create a pan-European Union (EU), spatial data infrastructure to enable the sharing of spatial information across Europe. The directive requires that common specifications, based on OGC and ISO standards, are adopted by EU Member States.

OpenStreetMap (OSM) is a free editable map of the whole world which is made by people like you.
OpenStreetMap allows you to view, edit and use geographical data in a collaborative way from anywhere on Earth.

At a higher level INSPIRE and OSM have some similar goals like
creating and adopting a common set of geospatial standards and building an international SDI where
maps and data are readily available for purposes like routing and disaster management.
Both are aiming to remain vendor-neutral and free from proprietary mapping monopolies.

But in many aspects INSPIRE and OSM are complete opposites:

INSPIRE has a top-down, formal, legislative, "GIS-" approach, defined mainly by National Mapping and Cadastral Agencies (NMCAs). The "de jure" standards are verbose (GML), containing many "optionals".
NMCAs have ample geodata. End-users are in the first place governments.

OSM on the other hand has a bottom-up, informal, "Neogeographic" approach is defined by its users.
Standards for geodata and network APIs are developed but in a more agile and organic fashion. Geodata is the main project artefact that is created by users but also through imports of available open datasets. Enduser is you.

With mainly differences between OSM and INSPIRE we could just stop here, but that is not the purpose of this talk.
My aim is to show where these projects can learn from each other and how they could collaborate
and possibly integrate at the technical level. Several scenarios will be elaborated. Why ? Well, basically for the good and future of mankind !



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OpenStreetMap and INSPIRE: Can the twain meet? OpenStreetMap and INSPIRE: Can the twain meet? Presentation Transcript