Tag Archives: inspire

Reading Inspire XML with FME

@SafeSoftware asked, if there’s any chance I’ll write this blog post also in English: http://gissiajapaikkatietoa.wordpress.com/2011/11/16/mmln-kuntarajat-fmella/. There’s a very good chance you can read it in English, since I’m now writing it in English. Finnish doesn’t seem to be the universal language yet, thus I understand @SafeSoftware’s question.

To begin with, according to Safe Software, FME 2012 can read XML documents in Inspire schemas out of the box, since FME 2012 contains Inspire schema files (from Annex I). This would mean that reading XML documents in Inspire schemas and writing to different formats is easier than before. This needs testing!

Downloading data

I’m testing the new functionality with open data from the National Land Survey of Finland.

I download municipality boundaries in XML from http://www.maanmittauslaitos.fi/ilmaisetaineistot.

Reading data

I choose INSPIRE GML as the format and municipality boundaries as the dataset with a scale of 1:100 000.

Inspire GML-luku
Next thing to do is to check parameters. I choose Dataset Only as the setting for Show Feature Types from:

As a result, I get two feature types, AdministrativeBoundary ja AdministrativeUnit. Complex properties are mapped now as nested attributes. For example following XML fragment







will form two attributes inspireId.Identifier.localId and inspireId.Identifier.namespace.

AdministravieBoundary ja AdministrativeUnit

Writing data

Let’s continue the test by writing administrative units and boundaries to different formats, e.g. MapInfo TAB, ESRI Shape, KML, PDF, DWG. I built the workspace and defined three parameters, with which I can direct the transformation of the data. The parameters are: Source file(s), Destination folder and Destination data format. The end-user doesn’t need to do anything else than define the values for the parameters and click OK.

Inspecting results

After running the workspace, we can inspect the results in FME Data Inspector or Viewer. For the first run, I chose MapInfo TAB as the destination data format, and the result has correct geometries and attributes:

Kuntarajat MapInfo TAB:ina.

Other formats that I tested were KML, PDF ja DWG, which worked without problems.

Reading XML data in Inspire schemas is now very handy with FME.


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Inspire: Part II

Having written about the basics of the Inspire initiative, it’s time to write more about the means by which Inspire will be implemented. Before that go through this short review of the last post:

Inpire in short:

  • Inspire defines several spatial data themes
  • Governmental Agencies will provide their data that belong to a theme
  • The data is provided with metadata
  • Online services are needed for data acquisition


There are several services that are defined:

  • Registry Service: Provides the data specifications and their data models of spatial datasets from Download Services for users to browse.
  • Discovery Service :Enables the search of spatial datasets and services with metadata. Also enables viewing metadata.
  • View Service: Enables viewing spatial datasets on monitor, and several map view functionality.
  • Download Service :Enables download spatial datasets and their subsets to your computer.
  • Transformation Service :Enables transformation of the spatial datasets to Inspire defined datamodels. First it will apply to coordinate transformation from national coordinate systems to European ETRS89 coordinate systems.
  • Invoke Service: Enables invoking the web services.

The services work as interface services, which means that agencies are not required to create client applications, just the interfaces that the client applications use. In the following picture you can see the services, metadata, spatial data sets, service bus and applications.


  • ISO: ISO 19101:2002 Reference model, …
  • OGC: GML, WFS, WMS, …

Not too hard, wasn’t it? Part II was mainly for shortly presenting the web services. In the following parts of this series, you’ll see more of the services. It’s actually my favorite component of Inspire.

Inspire defines several web services: Registry, Discovery, View, Download, Transformation and Invoke services.

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Inspire: Part I

Inspire Directive's Weird Logo

This post begins my Inspire series. The series contains general information, what is Inspire, and when it happens. I won’t go too deep into details and the law text of the Inspire directive, which could easily make my few subscribers press the unsubscribe button.


As some hawk-eyed readers might have noticed, Inspire is a directive meaning that it is a legislation for which EU members are bound.  It is also an initiative to create a European SDI. It aims for

  1. better coordination between government agencies,
  2. more effective usage of spatial data sets,
  3. and diverse services for citizens.

The directive itself  can be emphasized in following keywords: interoperable spatial datasets, exchange of spatial data services, their joint use availability in various levels of governing and industries. If we bring the keywords together in one sentence, it might look like this:

“The directive’s aim is to enable exchange, joint use, and availability of spatial data sets, and services associated with this information.”

Spatial Data sets

There are 42 spatial data themes to which the directive is applied, and they belong to 3 Annexes. I won’t list them here, you can find them in the sources.

Whew! Time to have a deep breath, yes, just like that. This is needed before going to metadata.


The agencies that provide the spatial data sets should provide their metadata and attach it to the services. Metadata includes descriptions about the data the agencies make available. For metadata enthusiasts, you might want to check out this document: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2008:326:0012:01:EN:HTML


This is the end of the part. Part II will tell you, what are the methods to implement this, and what a moon (what an earth is too often used, so I use moon instead) are the services, which should provide the 42 data themes?! Stay tuned.





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