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UK Local Government data provides model for INSPIRE


Local government's address and street datasets, the Local Land and Property Gazetteers (LLPGs) as compiled datasets into the AddressBase products managed by Ordnance Survey,  and the National Street Gazetteer (NSG) have been accepted as reference data models for the Addresses, Administrative Units and Cadastral Parcels and Transport Networks themes within INSPIRE.

INSPIRE is a European spatial information infrastructure that delivers to the users integrated spatial information services. These services will allow the users to identify and access spatial or geographical information from a wide range of sources, from the local level to the global level, in an inter-operable way for a variety of uses.

The general situation on spatial information in Europe has been one of fragmentation of datasets and sources, gaps in availability, lack of harmonisation between datasets at different geographical scales and duplication of information collection. These problems make it difficult to identify, access and use data that is available.

In July 2007, the INSPIRE team issued a call for data specifications to identify model data structures aimed to improve the situation across Europe.  The local government's address dataset were one of two data specifications accepted from across Europe to go forward to the Addresses and Technical Working Group. It was selected because it is structured on a National standard, which is based on the International standard ISO 19112. The selection team stated that "Implementing the standard at local level enables aggregation of data at a national and transnational level (England-Wales), which is an important aspect to deal with in INSPIRE. Furthermore the multi-lingual records of land and property units may give another valuable input for INSPIRE".

The NSG is one of ten data specifications that have been recommended for 'Transport networks'. Also based on a national implementation of ISO 19112, the selection team stated that the inclusion of the NSG "Can be justified by the references and descriptions for highway maintenance and utility street works. The multi-lingual street names may provide input also for the Addresses data theme."

GeoPlace's Steve Brandwood stated that "The decision to include local government's address and street datasets as data specifications at the European level for INSPIRE vindicates the vigorous processes that local authorities across England and Wales have been working to over the past eight years.  I am pleased that other users from across Europe will also be able to benefit from the experience gained from the UK implementation of ISO 19112.