First public view of work towards UK GEMINI 2.3

Do you use GEMINI? See the latest version and send your feedback on the new approach. Peter Parslow, our open standards lead and chair of the AGI Standards Committee explains more.

AGI has long-maintained UK GEMINI, a guide to creating metadata for geospatial resources. Local authorities and major data publishers like ourselves, ONS, BGS, Defra all use GEMINI to describe our products – datasets and services. These records are then collated automatically to data.gov.uk, and on the European INSPIRE portal. The records in data.gov.uk can also be accessed directly from within desktop GIS tools like Arc Desktop and QGIS, by using the OGC Catalogue Server interface, and by other tools by using the CKAN API described at https://data.gov.uk/data/metadata-api-docs. There’s ongoing work in Europe to integrate this approach more with mainstream web search engines – at present, it is a bit ‘geo specialist’! Read More


Cambridge Conference: Day 4 Report

His Excellency Morayyea Al-Shahrani of Saudi Arabia.

The last day of the 2011 Cambridge Conference was a fitting conclusion to an fantastic week.

Purposeful debate, to some extent primed by the previous three days, brought the conference to a satisfying conclusion. And the sun shone.

However, to start at the beginning …

National Mapping Organisation (NMO) Industry Exchange Forum – Professor Ian Dowman


Professor Ian Dowman, Emeritus Professor at University College London, gave a report on the discussions from the recent Geospatial World Forum Conference in Hyderabad.

He described the varying roles for NMOs and the technical challenges and socio-economic challenges they face.

He concluded by highlighting the opportunities for growth and emphasised joined up government, provision of infrastructure analysis and greater communication.

Regional sessions

The regional sessions proved to be an opportunity that was highly valued by all the delegates as a chance to open communication between countries.

Europe’s session was summed up by Dave Lovell, Executive Director of Eurogeographics, who posed three questions: What do NMA’s believe their role is? How do they make that role a reality? How can that role be funded? It was agreed that the role of the NMA’s was to make a wide range of geospatial reference data available to users and showing governments the benefits of that data. Read More


UK Location meet a metadata milestone for INSPIRE

UK Location launched the beta version of the Metadata Editor last week, built by us at Ordnance Survey. We built it using the GeoNetwork platform and have made the Metadata Editor available in two formats – a web-based on line version and an downloadable version. The UK Location Metadata Editor enables users to create, edit and validate UK Location compliant discovery metadata resources.

We’re one of many UK public bodies that produces data which falls within the scope of the Inspire Directive (Infrastructure for Spatial Information in Europe). The Directive aims to ensure that geographic information joins up between European countries. This can then help in major environmental disasters such as forest fires, floods and industrial explosions that do not respect national boundaries.

The Inspire Directive aims to find common ground among European countries (Image Andy Hyde on Flickr)

The Inspire Directive aims to find common ground among European countries (Image Andy Hyde on Flickr)

The first step under Inspire, currently being worked on by UK Location who are ensuring the UK rolls out the Inspire strategy, is creating metadata. Over the coming months and years Inspire’s vision sees everyone working to the same data specifications and sharing data readily between European countries.

The data under Inspire’s scope includes many of our datasets, which are largely reference information such as addresses and administrative areas, but also thematic information such as industrial facilities and species distributions.

We became involved in the Defra-coordinated UK Location earlier this year as technical delivery partners. Our first task was to work on the Metadata Editor and we’ll also be working on other spatial aspects of the project in the coming months. Keep an eye on our blog for more updates on Inspire and the UK Location programme.