INSPIRE Phase 2: What it Means for You

To understand what INSPIRE is all about, you need to understand the needs of the typical INSPIRE user. Do this, and all the strange technologies and requirements almost make sense. INSPIRE Phase 2 is coming – so it’s a good time to look into it.
INSPIRE wasn’t designed as a transparency tool. Rather, it’s a way of improving and enabling cross-boundary projects. Think of a new train link from Budapest to Barcelona. To plan this route, the engineers will need to build a library of thousands of datasets. They will need to know where people live, what the land is used for, where power comes from, and what other resources are available. This is a mammoth task, but now imagine doing it across 7 nations and 10 different languages. It becomes almost impossible and hugely expensive.
Now imagine the same task, but with a pan-European catalogue of all the appropriate datasets with one common form of index. This catalogue would describe what information was available, who owned it and how to contact them in a consistent way. It might also give them a glimpse of what the data might look like and perhaps a chance to use some of it, in a limited manner. Imagine how much easier that engineer’s task is and how much more likely that project is to succeed.
The above describes the 1st Phase of INSPIRE, which is now live and creating just this type of value. As the largest publisher of Annex III data in the UK, we get to see who is making what data requests. It’s interesting that >80% of requests come from commercial bodies or local authorities, reinforcing the project’s purpose.


What is Phase 2?

So if there is a Phase 1, there must be a Phase 2, right? Correct.
Phase 2 is now due and it’s the next logical step. Consider our engineer, he/she has this great catalogue but the schemas of each dataset are different. This leads to a huge amount of translation work, and so risks human error. It would help if all the data was translated into a standard format by the data owner, so it doesn’t need to be tweaked further downstream. This saves the whole ecosystem time and effort, and this is the thinking behind INSPIRE Phase 2.



The INSPIRE Phase 2 deadline requires you to transform your datasets into an INSPIRE compliant GML dataset and then publish them. There is October 2015 for all new or heavily revised data sets and all data sets are covered from December 2020.
To help you get to grips with Phase 2, we’ll be running some free webinars over the coming weeks. You can have a look at the dates and book your place by clicking here.