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Notes from the HUMBOLDT Project

In September 2006 the HUMBOLDT project started with the main goal to support and contribute to the implementation of a European Spatial Data Infrastructure (ESDI). Now, four eventful years have passed and the regular runtime of the project has ended in September 2010.

Much has been achieved: the HUMBOLDT Framework for Data Harmonisation, Scenario Applications and the Training Framework. The HUMBOLDT Open Day was used as an opportunity to provide more detailed insight into these achievements.

I am delighted to announce that the EC granted an extension of six months to the HUMBOLDT project. This time will mainly be used for technology transfer and dissemination of valuable project results. This will support to stabilize the technology and to transfer the results and experiences into the communities and other interested ongoing projects through specific events, workshops, and training courses offered. It will also help to establish the long term sustainability concept of continuing the HUMBOLDT Open Source Framework to support the harmonisation process in the area of geospatial data.

Enjoy reading and please do not hesitate to give us your feedback.

Dr. Joachim Rix, Co-ordinator of the HUMBOLDT Project
Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research, Darmstadt, Germany

Project News



took place on September, 28th in Lisbon, Portugal. It was organised in cooperation with our partner projects NATURESDIPlus and VESTA-GIS. The host for this event was Instituto Geográfico Português (IGP) from Portugal. IGP is the national agency from the public central administration and responsible for the national geodetic network and cadastre. The Open Source Tools and Services developed in HUMBOLDT were demonstrated in the application context of selected scenarios (Protected Areas, Ocean and Marine Environment, Transboundary Catchments, Atmosphere and Flood Risk Management). In addition to these showcase presentations, the participants had the opportunity to get acquainted with the training courses available on the HUMBOLDT training platform as well as to receive supervised hands-on experiences with the tools and services for data harmonisation.

The HUMBOLDT Open Day attracted more than 70 participants from all over Europe and the overall feedback to the presented content and organisation was consistently positive. Especially the hands-on sessions which allowed for bilateral discussions with HUMBOLDT developers, scenario and training representatives were very well received.

HUMBOLDT Scenario Feedback-Evaluation

For the HUMBOLDT Open Day a questionnaire for Scenario Feedback-Evaluation has been prepared. Your feedback is important for us in order to reveal different point of views about the HUMBOLDT Framework and its associated scenarios by the INSPIRE, GMES and related communities who are not directly involved in the HUMBOLDT project. To this end, the aim of the questionnaire is to inventory benefits and relevance of HUMBOLDT scenario applications to specific communities and similar projects/initiatives.

HUMBOLDT Framework for Data Harmonisation

In July 2010 a new release of the HUMBOLDT Alignment Editor (HALE) has been completed. The focus of this version was on bug resolution, including bugs reported during the project meeting in Valencia, and usability improvements. New features are, for instance, the export of mappings as HTML documentation and the improved detection of Coordinate Reference Systems for map, to allow specification of additional CRSes through preferences. For more information on this release please visit the HALE News at the Community Website. All components as well as full specifications are available for free download on the Community Website. Please use the forum on the community website to discuss any difficulties you are encountering.

HUMBOLDT Training Framework

Training efforts in HUMBOLDT are of major importance as they increase the impact and efficacy of the project outcomes by providing selected training tools and actions for the user communities of the HUMBOLDT Tools and Services, the communities of GMES and INSPIRE and, more generally, the geospatial data harmonisation interest community.

During the last months the Training Framework (i.e. Training Package, the Training Material and the Training Platform) has been continuously updated and fed with new and improved training material. Please feel free to check out and investigate the available content at the HUMBOLDT Training Platform which is free of charge, but a registration is required.

Handbook of Standards (Final Version)

The final version of the Handbook of Standards is available for download at the HUMBOLDT Project Website. It contains the conclusions of the state of the art analysis in spatial data tools and in software architectures. It also provides a classification of standards, tools and architectures, which determines their suitability and future application in the HUMBOLDT framework and scenarios. Feedback from implementation work, other projects, and from INSPIRE Implementing Rules (IR) and guidelines was integrated in this document.

HUMBOLDT Annual Report 2010

The Annual Report 2010 will be available for download at the HUMBOLDT Project Website soon. It contains a comprehensive summary of the major achievements of the project: Scientific and technical results, the Training Framework and prime examples of Scenario Applications. In addition, the user and future perspectives of HUMBOLDT are covered.

HUMBOLDT at the INSPIRE Conference 2010

This year’s INSPIRE Conference with the theme “INSPIRE as a Framework for Cooperation” took place from 22nd to 25th June 2010 in Krakow, Poland.HUMBOLDT was represented in the pre-conference workshop “Data Harmonisation in the HUMBOLDT Scenarios and the HUMBOLDT Training Framework” on Tuesday 22nd of June 2010. The potentiality of HUMBOLDT results was demonstrated in different application contexts (“Scenarios”) and as a training session offered to the user communities of the HUMBOLDT data harmonisation tools, as well as for the communities of GMES and INSPIRE. The presentation of the HUMBOLDT Training Framework was addressed to the practical use of the project’s outcomes, paying special attention to training dealing with data harmonisation experiences in different domains and in real world conditions.

In addition, two HUMBOLDT papers have been presented during the conference: the first one providing a general insight to “Data Harmonisation Put into Practice by the HUMBOLDT Project,” the second one targeted at describing the technology in the background: “Integrating spatial data integration: An Architecture for Complex Transformation Services”

HUMBOLDT at the 6th GIScience

Zurich, Switzerland was the host city of the 6th GIScience conference from September 14th-17th, 2010. HUMBOLDT was represented by Thorsten Reitz (Fraunhofer IGD, Darmstadt, Germany) who presented his paper “A Mismatch Description Language for Conceptual Schema Mapping and its Cartographic Representation.”


HUMBOLDT Technical Review Meeting in Lisbon, Portugal

In combination with the HUMBOLDT Open Day a Technical Review meeting was taking place in Lisbon, Portugal, on the 29th of September. The meeting was hosted by Instituto Geográfico Português (IGP).

The illustration of the technical project achievements was mainly focussing on the extensibility of the developed HUMBOLDT Tools and Services. In addition, feedback from validation and evaluation of the technical quality assurance processes was presented. Lessons Learnt as well as important aspects related to the long-term perspective of HUMBOLDT project results rounded off the Meeting. The reviewers and the project officer provided constructive remarks for the future focus of the project within the 6 month extension period and were impressed by the professional way the project is presenting itself to the community.

HUMBOLDT Consortium Meeting in Valencia, Spain

The last HUMBOLDT consortium meeting took place in Valencia, Spain, from the 6th to 9th July. The meeting was hosted by ETRA Research and Development.

Since the HUMBOLDT project has entered its final phase the meeting in Valencia was focussed on the wrap-up and consolidation of the projects results. These activities also included the necessary preparations for the HUMBOLDT Open Day in Lisbon, Portugal.

Furthermore, the current status of the HUMBOLDT Framework components, the Training Framework as well as Scenario applications and demonstrators were presented to the Advisory Board members Franz Daffner of the European Environment Agency (EEA) and Gábor Remetey-Fülöpp of the Hungarian Association for Geo-information (HUNAGI) . Their feedback to the presented results of HUMBOLDT was consistently positive and moreover included some valuable input for their further finalisation and dissemination.

Upcoming HUMBOLDT Events

ASITA 2010 Conference

The ASITA 2010 Conference will take place from 9th to 12th November in Brescia, Italy. HUMBOLDT will be represented by a workshop and the presentation of two papers on the HUMBOLDT Framework and Training. For more information please refer to the conference website.

HUMBOLDT Workshop at the Plan4all Project Meeting

The HUMBOLDT approach for data harmonisation and its applicability to other European projects like Plan4all, Habitas and SDI-EDU will be presented in a workshop at the Plan4all Project Meeting in Rome, Italy on October 15th.

The HUMBOLDT Project in brief
The four-year EU project HUMBOLDT contributes to the implementation of a European Spatial Data Infrastructure (ESDI) that integrates the diversity of spatial data available for a multitude of European organisations. It is the aim of this project to manage and advance important parts of the implementation process of this ESDI.
The main goal of the HUMBOLDT project is to enable organisations to document, publish and harmonise their spatial information. The software tools and processes created will demonstrate the feasibility and advantages of an Infrastructure for Spatial Information in Europe as planned by the INSPIRE initiative, meeting the goals of Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES).
Learn more about HUMBOLDT by visiting our Website


HUMBOLDT Project Office
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Phone: +49 6151 155 637
Fax: +49 6151 155 634