We attended once again to THE conference of the year, INSPIRE Conference. But what was so special about it this year? INSPIRE felt like it had one extra layer of warmth and hype around it this year. Successful conferences are hard to manage but INSPIRE was able to go beyond all expectations this year.

Insights from INSPIRE

We had a prime spot this year, as we had teamed up with few partners and new associates. This gave us front row seats to see what was going on. Jaana Mäkelä, Sampo Savolainen and Fabio Bittencourt held presentations and attended workshops, and gained insight from this year’s conference. We already wondered about this year’s topic prior to the conference, it can be read here.

“This year discussions emphasized the impact of SDIs. Are European SDIs open enough so that all potential users can benefit from them? Do SMEs understand the business possibilities that INSPIRE and SDIs provide? What kind of e-Government applications utilize SDIs and INSPIRE services?

The Delft University of Technology have made a study of the openness of SDIs of European countries. They visualized informatively on maps the values of three indicators: readiness, implementation and impact. Small and medium size Geo-ICT companies have developed great innovations based on geospatial technologies and INSPIRE services but these innovations have usually remained national because still in some EU countries access to public spatial data is limited. Also national legislation in many cases hinder the use of the most advanced solutions such as self driving cars or robotic helicopters in e-commerce deliveries. Inspiring e-Government applications related to Smart City development in the City of Hamburg and City of Kielce were presented. The case study of the Finnish City of Hyvinkää showed concrete quantitative benefits that an SDI which is reliable and has rich spatial content can bring to a digital building permission process.”

Jaana Mäkelä

Acknowledging Success

This year we wanted to give something back to the community that has given us so much. Awarding those who have succeeded was the best way to recognize all the effort organizations have implemented into their SDIs. That is why we hosted “Spatineo Quality Awards” this year. lkka, Fabio and Sampo had gathered some of the most successful organizations and sorted out 3 categories in which prizes were given.

“We were very happy to see the positive repercussion that the presentation about “Spatineo Quality Awards for INSPIRE Services” had at the thematic session “INSPIRE thinking out of the box”. Both among national organizations in countries where some awards were given to as well as at the european level, once some members of the INSPIRE MIG-T Representatives group and the European Commission came to us for further clarifications on the basis of how we developed such consistent methodology to find the ones best in class when it comes to Quality of INSPIRE Services. Congratulations once again to the winners!”

Fabio Bittencourt

Parting words

We would like to thank everyone in the INSPIRE Conference organizations for making this all possible, it would have not been possible without you! Also everyone who attended the conference had a key-role in making this event so successful. Our most humble salute to you all! Creating this kind of event each year really rallies the community together, enabling us to drive towards success together!

We hope to see you next year in Antwerp!