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INSPIRE Taking A Fresh Look at Coverages

Antwerp, September 2018. At this year´s INSPIRE Conference a hot topic was coverages, more specifically: raster data. Experts showed how to use coverages, and solution paths for the remaining issues so that coverages can be served simultaneously by both WCS and SOS.

INSPIRE addresses many types of raster data in Annex II and III – Orthoimagery, Elevation, Geology, Atmospheric conditions and Meteorological geographical features, Oceanographic geographical features, Soil, Land cover, Natural risk zones, Energy resources, and more. The common concept for modelling raster data is adopted from OGC coverages as specified in the Coverage Implementation Schema (CIS) standard, which meantime is also adopted verbatim by ISO as 19123-2. INSPIRE, though, has adopted coverages with certain deviations which turn out to be troublemakers as implementation progresses. Therefore, a group of three renowned experts has teamed up to resolve issues and achieve harmonization with OGC CIS: Jordi Escriu (Carthography and Geographical Institute Catalonia, Spain, INSPIRE expert), Peter Baumann (Jacobs University, coverage expert), and Katharina Schleidt (DataCov Austria, SOS expert). At the INSPIRE conference the group presented their results in the workshop “Practising INSPIRE Coverages – Enhancing your Datacube Implementation Assets”.

“Spatio-temporal coverages, including datacubes, comprise a powerful tool to provide INSPIRE and Coperncius data in an integrated, easy to access manner” summarizes Peter Baumann, CIS editor, and adds, “with only few adjustments we can achieve analysis-ready data and, as extra benefit, a substantial harmonization between the SWE and coverage worlds”.

As it turned out only rasdaman has the flexibility for the coverage experiments conducted in the investigations, and so rasdaman naturally was chosen as the vehicle for modeling, showcasing, and discussion at the workshop. Participants could recap the examples shown no their laptops. After the workshop, attendants used the opportunity of rasdaman’s fair booth to see “datacubes on steroids” in multiple scenarios and with dynamic querying.

Currently, the findings of the INSPIRE coverage expert group are being published and presented to JRC so that the necessary minor adjustments can be discussed and adopted in due course to allow stakeholders to proceed swiftly.