EGU23-5936, updated on 22 Feb 2023
EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

What does the European Spatial Data Infrastructure INSPIRE need in order to become a Green Deal Data Space?

Joan Masó1, Alba Brobia1, Ivette Serral1, Ingo Simonis2, Francesca Noardo2, Lucy Bastin3, Carlos Cob Parro4, Joaquín García4, Raul Palma5, and Sébastien Ziegler6
Joan Masó et al.
  • 1CREAF, Fac. Ciencies, Campus UAB, Bellaterra (Barcelona), Spain
  • 2OGC, Technologielaan 3, Leuven 3001, Belgium
  • 3Aston University, Aston St, Birmingham B4 7ET, United Kingdom
  • 4ATOS, Onda de Europa 5, Tres Cantos, Madrid, Spain
  • 5Instytut Chemii Bioorganicznej Polskiej Akademii Nauk (PSNC), Noskowskiego 12-14, Poznan, Poland,
  • 6Mandat International, Chem. du Champ-Baron 3, Genève, Switzerland

In May 2007, the INSPIRE directive established the path towards creating the European Spatial Data Infrastructure (ESDI). While the Joint Research Centre (JRC) defined a set of detailed implementation guidelines, the European member states determined the agencies responsible for delivering the different topics specified in the directive’s annexes. INSPIRE’s goal was - and still is - to organize and share Europe’s data supporting environmental policies and actions. However, the way that INSPIRE was defined limited contributions to the public sector, and limited topics to those specifically listed in its annexes. Technical challenges and a lack of appropriate tools have impeded INSPIRE from implementing its own guidelines, and even after 15 years, the dream of a continuous, consistent description of Europe’s environment has still not completely materialized. We should apply the lessons learnt in INSPIRE when we build the Green Deal Data Space (GDDS). To create the GDDS, we should start with ESDI (the European Spatial Data Infrastructure), but also engage and align with the ongoing preparatory actions for data spaces (e.g., for green deal and agriculture) as well as include actors and networks that have emerged or been organized in the recent years. These include: networks of in situ observations (e.g. the  Environmental Research Infrastructures (ENVRI) community); Citizen Science initiatives (such as the biodiversity observations integrated in the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), or sensor communities for e.g. air quality); predictive algorithms and machine learning models and simulations based on artificial intelligence (such as the ones deployed in the European Open Science Cloud, International Data Space Association and Gaia-X; services driven both by the scientific community and the private sector); remote sensing derived products developed by the Copernicus Services. Most of these data providers have already embraced the FAIR principles and open data, providing many examples of best practice which can assist newer adopters on the path to open science. In the Horizon Europe project AD4GD (AllData4GreenDeal), we believe that, instead of trying to force data producers to adopt cumbersome new protocols, we should take advantage of the latest developments in geospatial standards and APIs. These allow loosely coupled but well documented and interlinked data sources and models in the GDDS while achieving scientifically robust integration  and easy access to data in the resulting workflows. Another fundamental element will be the adoption of a common and extensible information model enabling the representation and exchange of Green Deal related data in an unambiguous manner, including vocabularies for Essential Variables to organize the observable measurements and increase the level of semantic interoperability. This will allow systems and components from different technology providers to seamless interoperate and exchange data, and to have an integrated view and access to exploit the full value of the available data. The project will validate the approach in three pilot cases: water quality and availability of Berlin lakes, biodiversity corridors in the metropolitan area of Barcelona and low cost air quality sensors in Europe. The AD4GD project is funded by the European Union under the Horizon Europe program.

How to cite: Masó, J., Brobia, A., Serral, I., Simonis, I., Noardo, F., Bastin, L., Cob Parro, C., García, J., Palma, R., and Ziegler, S.: What does the European Spatial Data Infrastructure INSPIRE need in order to become a Green Deal Data Space?, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-5936,, 2023.