[Freegis-list] proposed EC Directive on spatial data infrastructure

Jo Walsh jo at frot.org
Fri Oct 29 18:03:25 CEST 2004


other EU open-source GIS hackers might be interested in the upcoming proposed EC Directive on establishing a common spatial data infrastructure. It lives at http://ec-gis.org/inspire/ , is in the committee codecision stages right now and may get first reading in the EU parliament in spring 2005.

http://space.frot.org/docs/inspire_directive.html is my analysis of the worst bits. INSPIRE ensures public 'viewing' of all data freely available. (but not street/address data, which was removed from the original thematic data list) Licensing and cost terms for state-collected data will be imposed by the European Commission and their expert advisory group whih is conveniently composed of natioanl mapping agency representatives. Work is well underway at http://eurogeographics.org/ - the Directive is taken for granted.

http://space.frot.org/docs/uninspired.html  are my notes towards an overview document on 'why the INSPIRE terms are broken, and why European geographic data should be free'  which i'd like to get in front of sympathetic national and Euro MPs. 

The geodata licensing industry is pretty much stitched up by the semiprivatised agency here in the UK, they are leading the EU effort, the government environment agency is lobbying industry to support the Directive, and i'm not sure how much hope i have. Elsewhere in the EU the public sector understanding of open source and standards seems better (e.g. the netherlands, germany, denmark) and perhaps better opposition to this propsed Directive, and the imposition of a common cost recovery policy for spatial data, can be managed.

Please, at least, consider contacting your national representatives on the Environment Committee in the EU parliament, and a national MP who may have an understanding of what is at stake here. 

I am looking to get organisations affected by this to make statements, and try to collate research  about different countries policies and attitudes towards open geographic data, and how it's affected by the Public Sector Information Directive, on a multilingual wiki... i know this is just another skirmish in the digital rights offensive, but i really think we might have a chance if we fight it hard.


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