On March 4 and 5, organisations from Belgium, Germany, The Netherlands and United Kingdom organised the conference: Safety, Mobility, Sustainability... Powered by INSPIRE. In a mixture of presentations, panel discussions and demonstrations, over 250 participants from Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Luxemburg and the United Kingdom took the opportunity to meet and get inspired.

The Powered by INSPIRE conference aims to raise awareness for the existence and user potential of spatial data-infrastructures in Europe. More and more data is being made available via the web. What does it take to taste the full potential of these ever easier accessible datasources? In the case of INSPIRE, cross border data harmonisation is part of the programme. Does this support us in cross border issues at European, regional and local level? And are these public data of interest to the private sector as well?


Karl Falkenberg, Director General of the European Commissions DG Environment, welcomed the participants in Brussels on March 4, stressing the importance of data sharing to tackle environmental issues. Euro Beinat, Professor or Location and Context Awareness, Salzburg University ended the two day conference showing us the potential of sensor data that is being collected every second both knowingly and unknowingly. In between, animated panel discussions on public and citizen benefit and the use of public spatial data for the private sector took place. Presentations on geoscientific data for EU policy and the interest of European railways in INSPIRE created a buzz that continued in the breaks. In parallel sessions, applications for mobility, sustainability and cross border safety were discussed.

Conclusion of the two day event is that a lot of work still has to be done. The first INSPIRE-data is only just available. Cross-border harmonisation needs some attention as the lunch demonstration 'connecting cross border' showed. But: never before have we been able to find data as easily as it is now.
To taste the full potential of INSPIRE it is important to build bridges between dataprovider and data user communities. Integration of the INSPIRE-model in standards for geospatial data could further optimise the user benefit.

A need for cross border harmonisation is eminent in regional development projects concerning safety, economic development, transportation and nature preservation. These provide interesting seedbeds for INSPIRE. In sectors such as transportation, agriculture, nature preservation, safety and disaster management there is a steady need for data. Interesting is the rise of data provided by citizens, collected in crowdsourcing projects and the data that is coming from sensors (including camera's and mobile phones). The developments in this area go rapid and will impact the way we use and review data. Based on the discussions during this event, this is a trend we will definitely hear more of.

More information
For an overview of the programme with short descriptions of the presentations you can download the programmebooklet

Most presentations of March 4 and March 5 are available online in .pdf format



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