UK local authority datasets held up as a fine example to Europe

UK local government data is providing a model for European framework standards.

UK local government data is providing a model for European framework standards.

Local government-backed address and street datasets, the National Land and Property Gazetteer (NLPG) and the National Street Gazetteer (NSG), have been accepted as reference data models under the INSPIRE directive.

With no common standards for spatial data across Europe, INSPIRE seeks to lay down rules for interoperability and harmonisation.

It will establish a framework for co-ordinating the use and implementation of such data for the purposes of community environmental policies.

The established standards will enable users to identify and access spatial or geographical information from a wide range of sources, for applications including:

• Location and exploitation of natural resources - minerals, soils, vegetation, landscape

• Viewing and analysis of networks - transport, water, energy and telecoms

• Location and distribution of people, businesses, assets, new developments, services and other built infrastructure

• Co-ordination of responses to emergencies, natural and man made disasters - floods, epidemics and terrorism

The NLPG was 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 built on BS7666, the UK implementation of ISO 19112. The NLPG was singled out for its implementation of the standard at local level, enabling aggregation of data at a national and trans-national level (England-Welsh).

The Addresses and Technical Working Group aims to create a Europe-wide data standard for any new address datasets.

From 2009 any new address datasets across Europe will have to accommodate the agreed data structure and any existing datasets by 2016.

The NSG is one of ten data specifications that have been recommended for transport networks, included for its adherence to ISO 19112, its current use for highway maintenance and utility street works and its multi-lingual capabilities (English and Welsh).

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