INSPIRE 2010 Conference (23 June Plenary Session) Krakow, Poland

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Word is out, but then it seems it has been since the past couple of months that INSPIRE 2011 will be in Scotland. If I understand correctly, tradition has it that the venue for the conference cannot be in a country’s capital city, but in this case it might be Edinburgh? Aberdeen was mentioned, but not as easy to reach as Edinburgh for most those travelling from the EU;  no mention of Glasgow, but then I just heard about it now, so could be there as well next year?

The conference started on Wednesday with the plenary session and noticed quite a few people in attendance.  I believe it was Hugo de Groof, the EC Directorate-General for the Environment who commented that there were 600+ attending the INSPIRE Conference.

Plenary Session

Europe Inspired.
Jacqueline McGlade, Executive Director, European Environment Agency (EEA)

Eionet = A network of more than 2000 experts from 37 countries in more than 800

national organisations, consisting of:

  • European Environment Agency
  • National Focal Points
  • National Reference Centres
  • European Topic Centres

Putting in place a sustained, quality assured environmental monitoring and observing capacity to inform 870 million people in 57 countries about the state of the environment.

Monitoring outputs

• Priorities not always clear; often too much disconnected information;
• Customised components: not always standardised.

Shared Environment Information System core principles

  • Provide once but using for many purposes

• Quality assured
• Traceable i.e responsible person/institution identified
• Managed as close as possible to source
• Accessible to enable clients to make comparisons at the appropriate geographical scale (cities, countries, river basins, catchment areas)
• Available to the public after due consideration of the appropriate level of aggregation

*At least 80% of all environmental data and information used by EEA has a spatial dimension.

Global Monitoring the Environment and Security (GMES)


Sentinel 1 – SAR imaging: All weather, day/night applications, interferometry
Sentinel 2 – Multispectral imaging
Land applications: urban, forest, agriculture, etc. Continuity of Landsat, SPOT data
Sentinel 3 – Ocean and global land monitoring: Wide-swath ocean colour, vegetation, sea/land surface temperature, altimetry
Sentinel 4 – Geostationary atmospheric: Atmospheric composition monitoring, trans-boundary pollution
Sentinel 5 – Low-orbit atmospheric: Atmospheric composition monitoring

GMES Architecture:

1) Observation infrastructure (Space infrastructure) (in Situ infrastructure) (GMES services)
2) GMES services (Land, Marine, Emergency, Atmosphere, Security) (Users)
3) Downstream sector (Value multipliers) (Downstream services) (Users)

She noted the importance and relevance of INSPIRE data to GMES – many of the Annex I, II and III data themes for most GMES services, or land, marine and atmospheric services.

Integrating information from local to global level

  • Farmers integrating space and in-situ monitoring
  • Integrated monitoring: New Nervous system for the North
  • Integrating space and in-situ observations: Sensor Web
  • Biodiversity Information System for Europe (BISE) Topics: Protected Areas

Globcover Portal: global composite and land cover maps using as input observations from the 300m MERIS sensor on board the ENVISAT satellite mission.

She also identified some of today’s challenges

  • Infrastructure costs are fixed and ongoing, and distract from the mission of reducing business process friction and problems.
  • Leveraging past investments to provide future value.
  • Many data centres at limit—real estate, capacity, cooling and power.
  • Matching capacity to demand.
  • Maintaining security while increasing access and transparency—within and outside the organization.
  • Security, access, and transparency across the value chain: suppliers, partners, etc.
  • Lack of a common platform.

Dr. McGlade summarised the importance of Cloud with a diagramme and suggested a 60% reduction in costs and more data security using Cloud .


  • Secure Cloud Federation
  • Dedicated Cloud
  • Publish to Cloud or Enterprise
  • Public Cloud
  • Enterprise

  • International
  • Private Cloud
  • Cloud Platforms today

    Private Could Platforms

  • Vmware vSphere (ESX, vCenter)
  • Microsoft (Hyper-V, System Center)
  • Public Cloud Platforms

  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): Amazon Web services, Rackspace Cloud, Servers GoGrid, Cloud hosting, others
  • –          Hosting Partners: VMware vSphere (ESX, vCenter)
    –          Housing Partners: Microsoft (Hyper-V, System Center)

    • Platform as a Service (PaaS) )for Scalable Web Applications: Google AppEngine, Windows Azure Platform
    • Platform as a Service (PaaS) for Data-driven Business Applications:,

    A survey where 42% of EU citizens feel poorly informed about environmental issues.

    Eye On Earth platform – objective

    • Provide a user-friendly global platform for dissemination of environmental and related data and information containing:

    • Quality assured data, observed and modelled, voluntary and/or mandatory
    • User observations and feedback
    • Showcases (Multimedia)
    • Visibility to citizen’s and community actions To serve a wide variety of communities and individuals at different levels of complexity

    GIS Technology is Changing

    • Easy, Accessible and Collaborative

    Enabled By

    Cloud Architecture
    • Web Services
    • Mashups
    • Crowd Sourcing

    • Open Data Sharing Policies

    Expanding to mobile GIS: Connecting Mobile Workers

    • Capture Photos
    • Smart Phones
    • Customisable Applications
    • Tablet

    Other portals which might be of interest to you which Dr. McGlade introduced at the Plenary session.

    GMES Land Monitoring Portal

    ESRI GEO Portal

    Rich Spatial Flex Viewer EEA landcover maps with Flickr photos.

    European Urban Atlas

    Youtube for Maps and other Map applications


    Quite a few interesting portals and spatial data resources on the web and Cloud becoming prevalent and solution? We need the data for all this to happen.

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