INSPIRE, OS Compliance and the Wildebeest

By Laura on March 24, 2014. Categorised in INSPIRE requirements, Local Government

It is generally accepted that being eaten by a lion is a bad thing.

This is why the noble wildebeest travels in a herd; they realise that lions only pick off the outsiders and stragglers.

Much of the same can be said of INSPIRE, OS and compliance.  If you travel in the middle of the “herd” you are safe.  If you are a straggler or stand alone, you may end up facing down a lion.


So what does the herd looks like from an INSPIRE and OS perspective?

We are lucky enough at miso to be the largest UK service provider of Annex III data. The vast majority of English councils that are publishing data are coming through our portal and this provides us with a unique view of what the herd looks like.

From an INSPIRE perspective, it looks like a commitment to 20 data sets with 10 published so far.  So if you don’t want to be lion dinner, we suggest this as a minimum.


The herds’ top twenty popular data sets already published are:


Bubble Chart

Top 20 Data Groups

What the herd looks like from an OS perspective is PSMA business-as-usual.  This means that you need to know who is downloading your data and are confident enough that the end user has rights to the data. You also need to prove it.  So:


  • One Scotland and PSMA members get immediate access
  • Contractors get access, once a valid Contractor License is in place
  • 3rd parties get access with proof that they have a valid license to the underlying data


There is an exception, the “PSMA End User License – INSPIRE”.  This licence enables private individuals to access data for their own personal use.  If these individuals access the data under this license, then there is no need to record who they are.  But how did you know it was an individual and how will you prove it?  A Rumsfeldian riddle applies:

You know your Knowns and you need to prove you know your Knowns, but you don’t need to know your Unknowns though of course you need to prove that you knew they were an Unknown and therefore you didn’t need to know.

Alternatively we’ll help you record it all and you can relax safely in the middle of the herd.


Ben Allan

March 2014

The High Savannah