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Harmonised Estonian spatial data and spatial services are available to all users in EU

The Estonian Land Board has made all INSPIRE related spatial information and services together with their descriptions available in the web environment geoportaal.ee. In addition to the Land Board’s data, the information of other state agencies is also hosted. Within a year approximately 30 services that are based on the international spatial data model were added. The Land Board is the INSPIRE (Infrastructure for Spatial Information in Europe) information and advisory centre in Estonia. Last year the Land Board together with 18 other data owners created 26 INSPIRE related services for state agencies. Main emphasis was laid on environmental services. E.g. now the locations of boreholes and drill cores have become available through metadata and spatial data services. “Regardless the addition of new data owners or developments of INSPIRE directive, the Land Board can help data owners to transfer their spatial data to the INSPIRE data model and develop spatial data services,” said the Land Board’s Deputy Director General Artu Ellmann.   

According to Director of the Environmental Agency Taimar Ala, it is a good example of fruitful cooperation between agencies. “The Environmental Agency has shared data of 14 INSPIRE themes, based on which over 20 services have been created in collaboration. This has improved the availability of environmental information and hopefully the use of data will increase” said the head of the Environmental Agency.

Descriptions of spatial data and services, i.e. metadata, are based on the INSPIRE metadata guidelines and harmonize the presentation of spatial data in EU Member States making it easier to find information about spatial data in Estonia and other EU countries. The new metadata management environment metadata.geoportaal.ee provides information on the content of metadata, data owners, whether there are restrictions on the use of data, and on services through which these data are available. The development of this web environment was a joint effort of the Land Board and the Information Technology Centre of the Ministry of the Environment.

The new web environment offers a user-friendlier and more accurate search of metadata. On the opening page metadata can be filtered by INSPIRE themes, ISO 19115 themes or types of data/services. A more advanced search is also possible on a separate page. The user can choose between by default the compact view or full view, and metadata can be downloaded (XML, RDF or PDF) or shared by a permanent link.

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