ATLAS of INSPIRE – conceptualizing SDI implementation through an inventory of experiences, successes and headaches of European national mapping agencies

Walter Timo De Vries, Joep Crompvoets, Jantien Stoter, Ingrid Vanden Berghe


The paper describes the current results of a EuroSDR (European Spatial Data
Research) project ‘Atlas of INSIPRE implementation methods’. Aim of the
project was to make an inventory of experiences when implementing INSPIRE. This
inventory shows the variance and communalities regarding the implementation
of INSPIRE by national mapping agencies and national INSPIRE contact points.
This inventory formed the basis for the generation of the prototype Atlas for
all national mapping agencies, policy makers and other stakeholders who have to
implement INSPIRE. The Atlas formed the first step towards the conceptualization of SDI implementation approaches.

The inventory of INSPIRE implementation experiences relied on a qualitative data collection through a survey and two workshops. The data collection derived primary data on experiences of representatives from twelve European countries (Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, France, Germany, Netherlands, Poland Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom). The data analysis compared the inventory of INSPIRE implementation experiences to two theoretical information infrastructure approaches, derived from organizational and information sciences literature: cultivation approaches and design approaches.

The comparison showed that a conceptualization of cultivation reflects the INSPIRE implementation strategies and experiences closer than conceptualization of a design approach. Consequently , institutionalizing INSPIRE is likely to require a gradual approach towards increasing flatter inter-organizational working relations, and a scaling up strategy by iteratively linking (supra)national implementation plans to local implementation plans, and vice versa.


INSPIRE, SDI, information infrastructure theory, cultivation, design

Full Text: