Geo-referenced data and maps on biodiversity are essential
Spatial data are becomming more and more important, not only to planners, administrators and business, but also to the wider public. More and more of us use data, that are in some way georeferenced - such as for the many position location systems now in use and for the foreseen future simple access systems to integrated information about our own neighbourhood. This all creates the need for harmonised spatial data, for guidelines to perform the harmonisation and for simple and open access to data. Information about biodiversity such as on species (threatened or protected speces, production based on crops and animals), on ecosystems and on areas and sites (forests, wetlands, protected areas etc) are beginning to be accessible online, now also with georeferences: where are the species, the ecosystems and the protected sistes? The basic information sources are also increasingly spatial: satellite imagery and other remote sensing data. Information on spatial data and the usefulness of maps is gradually being collected in the section on geo-referenced data and maps: http://biodiversity-chm.eea.europa.eu/information/F1111052657
. A general presentation is found in: http://biodiversity-chm.eea.europa.eu/information/F1111052657/1110989483
The EU initiative INSPIRE (Infrastructure for Spatial InfoRmation in Europe. It is a EU initative, which was established to support and facilitate this development: to harmonise spatial data specifications, support interoperability of spatial data services and data sharing policies. INSPIRE now calls for expressions of interest in participation in Spatial Data Interest Communities (SDICs). The purpose is to identify those expert networks or organisations which are able and interested in participating in establishing drafts and review implementing rules for INSPIRE. The call also concerns registration of project activities undertaken in the context of GMES (the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security Initiative). The call remains open on a permanent basis. The call for expression of interest can be registered via http://www.ec-gis.org/inspire/ More information on INSPIRE, its organisation and workprogramme and the preparations for an EC directive on spatial information can be found at the INSPIRE web site: http://inspire.jrc.ec.europa.eu/.