Standards Are the Way to #MakeItWorkTogether – INSPIRE2018

INSPIRE Conference 2018 Standards are the way

Have you ever attended a conference that takes place in a Zoo? Geospatial professionals are gathering again together next month, as the most important conference related to INSPIRE is happening in Antwerp Belgium. And yes, the arena for the conference is technically in a Zoo, as Flanders Convention Center is partly located in the historical zoo of Antwerp.

But back to the topic. This year’s theme is #MakeItWorkTogether, which is meant to inspire (pun intended) organisations and geospatial professionals to work more closely together to make the entire community better. One way this process has been already active for a long time is standardization. INSPIRE standards are key that make European spatial data sets fit together. Sharing common practices and innovations throughout the community has been and is still one of the main goals of the whole legislation.

This year’s INSPIRE conference wants to promote the idea of organisations working together. Cooperation is something we have always done, and this year Spatineo is participating in the conference with two of our important partners: Wetransform and Epsilon Italia. Our combined stand is located at S10, and we invite you to visit us at your convenience!

Antwerp Zoo INSPIRE conference
Ever been to a conference with one of these also attending? Source

Schedules and Presentations

INSPIRE conference is starting 18th of September and we are giving several presentations during that week. See schedule below for all of our presentations for 2018 edition of INSPIRE.





Spatineo Service Quality Awards: Using Availability and Validity Data for INSPIRE Service Quality Ranking

Fabio Bittencourt

Gorilla 3

September 18th 17.00 – Add to calendar

Method for Automated Classification with INSPIRE Data and Sentinel – 2 Satellite Imagery: Case Remote Crop Monitoring

Joona Laine

Sampo Savolainen

Okapi 3

September 18th 16.45 – Add to calendar

How to assess and showcase the impact of open environmental information?

Jaana Mäkelä

Okapi 3

September 19th 17.15 – Add to calendar

Workshop: SDIs for the Internet of Things. The integration of spatio-temporal data in INSPIRE

Ilkka Rinne

Gorilla 3 & 4

September 20th 14.00 – Add to calendar

We are also part of DOV Vlandeeren poster presentation “DOV released the Taskmanager extension to publish INSPIRE data and improved the performance of GeoServer“, which can be seen at the “forest of pillars”! So make sure you check that out ?

We are happy to meet you all at any time of the conference and if you have any questions about our presentations don’t be afraid to ask us anything! Our stand is located at S10 and we have a new thing for all conference participants this year: Availability Certification by Spatineo.

Availability Certification Task Force By Spatineo

Building trust in our geospatial community is important, and we want to help organisations get recognized with their successes. This is why we are going to host an availability certification activity at our stand this year. But what is this Availability Certificate given by us after all? We have developed a database since from 2012, which currently encompass over 85 thousand spatial web services and their respective availabilities since they were added to the system. So, why not share part of the collected information with the INSPIRE community?

This year we will have for each participant an insert in the conference bag, which will give them right to get an Availability Certificate for their organisations. We are looking forward to meet you all at Spatineo’s stand S10.

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World Cup of Open Data: The Challenges Countries Face Outside The Field

World Cup of Open Data - Challenges Countries Face Outsite The Field

After FIFA World Cup and inspired by an article published by Estadão newspaper in Brazil, and re-published by Labgis (Geotechnology Center of the State University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), we decided to use the same conceptual idea and adapt make this article about the “World Cup of Open Data” and share it with the GIS community worldwide. The main idea is to imagine if the World Cup had taken into account the Open Data Index (published by the Open Knowledge Foundation), who would fall along the way and who would be the great champion, beating France in the final phases?.

The exercise was to imagine a World Cup that matches the level of data openness of the participating countries of the World Cup in Russia. And what is open data? Today, governments in all parts of the world have a great deal of information about the public services provided and the quality of life of the population. According to the Open Knowledge Foundation – OKFN, “data is opened when anyone can freely use, reuse and redistribute it, subject to at most the requirement to credit its authorship and share for the same license.”

Global Open Data Index Football spatineo
Map View of Global Open Data Index

To compare countries, we used the Open Data Index of 2016 developed by OKFN, which aims to evaluate countries in relation to the level of opening of data to citizens, the media and civil society. In the index, countries are evaluated in several dimensions, such as public purchases and expenditures, environmental and geographic information, legislative activities, electoral data and socioeconomic statistics. The analysis criteria for each dimension vary from the ease of accessing and working the data, to the analysis of the available format, to completeness and updating of the database.

Of the countries participating in the 2018 World Cup, Australia and England (United Kingdom Open Index Index) stand out. Both with a score of 79%, they would make a fierce final, with the England victory being defined in the “penalties”: The two countries tie in eight criteria that compose the index. England stands out in four and Australia is superior in three others. Thus, with decision in the “penalties”, the inventors of football are consecrated the great champion. Taking into account the World Cup brackets, France would fall to England in the semifinals, but would still get an honoured 3rd place, beating Brazil which would have lost to Australia already in the “other semifinal”. Other teams that would get to the quarter finals would be: Denmark, Mexico, Colombia and Japan, which would have taken the 5th to the 8th best places in this World Cup, respectively. The other 8 teams that would have reached the round of 16, but lost their matches in that phase for the other 8 teams mentioned above are: Argentina, Uruguay, Sweden, Belgium, Germany, Poland, Russia and Serbia.

Good examples that did not participate in the World Cup

Although eliminated in the second round of the Asian Cup qualifiers, Taiwan is the Nº 1 placed in the index, having reached 100% in twelve of the fifteen categories. This positive outcome is due to numerous measures to promote access to and use of open government data, including the launching of a promotional plan to encourage private companies and organizations to make greater use of available datasets, development of a platform open data and the publication of the Government’s Freedom of Information Law Act.

Other very well positioned countries in the ranking that were not present at the World Cup 2018 are: Finland, Canada and Norway (all 3 at the 5th place in the ranking with a 69% index level), followed closely by New Zealand with 68%. See the complete ranking here.

Why opening data is important

The opening of public data is important for several aspects. The first is to increase the transparency of government actions, such as ensuring identification of the destination of taxes collected from the population. More transparent governments facilitate citizen engagement and this is the second positive effect of data openness. With relevant information accessible, citizens can engage in enforcement and contribution initiatives with the public power. We wrote an article some time ago about the reasons why we monitor open geospatial services, which explains how important the impact of open data is.

Finally, the opening of data is important as it allows private initiative to access information to apply and develop solutions to real problems of society. An example of this is some of the transportation applications that uses geolocation, which by accessing open (vehicle fleet) data, are able to estimate the arrival time of these vehicles at their respective stops and the best routes for their users. Here at Spatineo, we help organisations offering and using open data to assure quality and reliability of the spatial services they provide.



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How to Utilize Spatineo Service Map to Your Advantage

Did you know that we provide a free tool for anyone to use, to see spatial web service availability all around Europe? That tool is called Spatineo Service Map. Service Map is an optimized tool for checking your country’s service availability in mere seconds. Being easy-to-use and free are also some benefits Spatineo Service Map offers, so why not to take advantage of it?

Using Spatineo Service Map to your advantage

We now see quite a wide adoption of the spatial web services provided by the public sector. Achieving widespread use requires not only good quality data and services, but also that the existence of these services are communicated and advertised to companies and private citizens. Our Service Map promotes openness, which should increase public curiosity and  scrutiny of the current service quality.

The more users know about your high quality services, the more impactful the quality of the service becomes. What do we mean by that? The more users your service has, the more it has potential to save time of all users combined. If one user saves one minute of their time, once your services have reached standards of high quality, think what kind of impact that quality would have on 10,000 or more users.

Once you have opened Spatineo Service Map, you’ll get a overall view of all services we have identified in Europe. At the bottom, you can see the timeline of the number of all known services over time split into the number of high-availability services (99% monthly availabily or more) and the rest of the services. This historic view of the availability data allows you to see Europe-wide and county specific trends in service number. You can also click on a particular month to see the availability statistics for that time on map.

Spatineo Service Map selection

On the right top side of the screen, there is a menu in which you can select which kind of information you see on the map and in the provider list. You have four themes to choose from:

  • Percentage of High Availability Services

  • Change in High Availability Services over the last three months

  • Total Number of Services

  • Change in Total Number of Services over the last three months

You can also dig deeper to region specific data. From this view you can see information on region level. In example Finland is divided into 17 regions and we can see how they compare to each other.  We have identified spatial web services in all but two regions in Finland. On the right side we list the most prominent data provider organisations located in the selected area. More detailed information for each service can be found in our advanced availability monitoring and usage analytics tool Spatineo Monitor, which is available for 14-day free trial.

How do we collect the data?

Spatineo harvests available spatial web services from service catalogues and search engines to keep its registry up to date. For the purposes of the map, services are broadly defined as any service endpoint that is described by a single service description document of a particular service type. For example, each WMS Capabilities document describes a single service. All services within our catalogue are continuously monitored. This monitoring procedure is compliant with the INSPIRE normalized testing procedure for availability and has provided us with data spanning back to 2012. To construct the map, availability results for each service are continuously tested month-by-month against the 99% availability threshold (not counting pre-announced maintenance windows) consistent with INSPIRE requirements.

Service Availability is vital for SDIs

The vision and goal of the INSPIRE legislation is to simultaneously open more data and increase its use. We at Spatineo believe it is crucial to show that organisations are working hard to fulfil their obligations. This transparency is necessary to inspire the private sector to discover and trust the spatial web services that can enable companies to both innovate and build new businesses that utilise the open spatial data.

For the actual service quality to improve, data providers should look for tools to monitor and analyse the quality of their services, tools such as Spatineo Monitor.