ArcNews Online

Fall 2010

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INSPIRE Geoportals Bridge Producers and Consumers

INSPIRE-compliant geoportals act as a bridge between producers and consumers. They provide a means to search and view geospatial resources and to manage, publish, and store valid metadata, enabling the discovery, evaluation, and use of SDI resources.

Producers Need a Bridge to Offer Data

Producers can benefit from geoportal functionality to publish and store metadata describing their data and services. ArcGIS for INSPIRE extends the functionality of ArcGIS Server and transforms information from existing holdings into INSPIRE-compliant data, efficiently stores it, and delivers it through INSPIRE View and Download services. The INSPIRE Download Service includes support for both direct, user-defined data access and easy downloading of preprocessed datasets.

This is accomplished by harmonizing spatial datasets through standardized extraction, transformation, and loading (ETL) services. This allows both the fusion of adjacent spatial datasets and the integration of quality assurance methodologies. Once transformed, the data is stored in an Esri geodatabase that is compliant with the INSPIRE Annex Themes. This offers optimal conditions for the use and publication of INSPIRE-related data within ArcGIS. This is implemented as a secondary publication database, so the original source data remains unchanged. At the same time, users are assured that the required INSPIRE Quality of Service conditions are met.

The solution also provides secure access to geospatial services including content and applications, the ability to create and apply license models for accessing geospatial services, and the definition of rules for and monitoring the status and availability of those geospatial services. In addition to the technology itself, Esri offers services to implement a solution specific to the needs of each organization and that conforms to INSPIRE directives.

Consumers Benefit from INSPIRE

Data producers are not the only ones with a stake in INSPIRE compliance; consumers are also interested in finding relevant data. The consumer's point of view is only partially addressed by the INSPIRE regulations. On one hand, the geoportal is fundamental to enable the use and development of new services and applications, but on the other hand, additional tools and technologies are necessary for effectively using these applications. Easy-to-use applications available on various environments, including desktops, Web browsers, and mobile devices, are the targets for reaching all potential users, including policy makers, operational managers, and the general European public. APIs for rapidly developing and adapting applications to specific needs and environments are key factors for sustainability and cost-effectiveness.

ArcGIS for INSPIRE allows consumers to preview and download SDI resources to discover, evaluate, and use the information. Selection and management via WMS, WFS, and ArcGIS Server services are available. Functionalities such as measurement and redlining; map printing; the ability to save and load map views, including the Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc. (OGC), WMS and a gazetteer search function enhance productivity.

Capabilities can be expanded by adding component modules. The integration of an OGC catalog service means that the services required can be searched contextually and loaded. The application is compliant with the requirements of the INSPIRE initiative.

Services can also be accessed directly by a configurable favorites list or by entering a URL. Using configuration management, it is also possible to define the available functionality, layout, and content accessible for different purposes and user groups.

More Information

For more information, contact Guenther Pichler, Esri (e-mail:

See also "ArcGIS for INSPIRE: A Collaborative Geospatial Information-Sharing Solution for the European Union."

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