[okfn-discuss] INSPIRE directive consultation up for comments

Jo Walsh jo at frot.org
Thu May 21 20:56:06 UTC 2009

dear all,

On Tue, May 19, 2009 at 7:19 PM, Rufus Pollock <rufus.pollock at okfn.org> wrote:
> Just to update from discussion off-list: Jo has very kindly
> volunteered to draft something which we'll submit with ORG and anyone
> else who'd like to sign on.

Well, here is what I thought was worth writing down:

This boils down to:

- The suggestion to exclude local authorities below District Council
level from conforming to INSPIRE standards is incompatible with the
terms of INSPIRE itself which says that the "lowest levels of
government" must publish geodata which there is an obligation to
collect in the law.

- There is a long list of exclusions, including "intellectual
property" and "commercial confidentiality", from offering even data
viewing services (tyically a Web Map Service) free of cost. This list
is lifted from the Public Sector Information Directive and the
Environmental Information Directive. But if they were working, would
we still need INSPIRE? It is better to be "more open" thereby
complying with the spirit of INSPIRE. Note that there is always a
"presumption in favour of public access" to at least data viewing
services, and data search will always be free of cost.

- At one point there is talk of only cost of maintenance to be
chargeable (tending to a free marginal cost) for data and services.
Elsewhere the phrase "and a reasonable return on investment", the
language of the PSI Directive, is used. DEFRA cites the "Power of
Information" review somewhere. Can the true intention be more

There is scope for more on general themes, some pointers to the study
into Trading Fund pricing models that Rufus worked on, that would
belong in section 3.
There is also a passage marked up [[ ]]

[[This would be a point at which to go further into "intellectual
property rights"
and "confidentiality of commercial information" as they may apply to
Crown Copyright data and data gathered by local authorities, planning
etc. The guidelines already say there will be a "presumption in favour
of public access" to "view services"]]

How much time anyone would want to put into it is a judgement call
based on the likelihood of this consultation being mere button-pushing
or is there a real opportunity to create more open local amendments in
the transposition phase.

I am happy to add anyone to that google doc if they mail me their gmail address.

Sorry this took so long, I have been solely in charge of a baby for
the past couple of days, it is hard work!



More information about the okfn-discuss mailing list