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Extending Humboldt within the FreeGIS.net project
Andrea Antonello – R3 GIS
Data harmonization. These two words, used in an almost recursively way in any European cross-country project, hide an uncommon complexity that finds its roots in labyrinths of procedures of administrations, cultural differences between countries and sometimes poor education about data management inherited from the past.
When talking about data harmonization inside the FreeGIS.net project, two different levels are considered: the local and the global (in that case European) level. Withing the FreeGIS.net project a test dataset of the Autonomous Province of Bolzano has been studied to investigate the feasibility of an automatic conversion process into the INSPIRE compliant data standard.
The application used for the harmonization process is the Humboldt Alignment Editor (HALE, http://community.esdi-humboldt.eu/), which is best defined by the project team itself: "HALE is a tool for defining and evaluating conceptual schema mappings. The goal of HALE is to allow domain experts to ensure logically and semantically consistent mappings and consequently transformed geodata. Furthermore, a major focus is put on documentation of the schema transformation process and its impacts, e.g. in the form of lineage information attached to the resultant transformed data."
In the first part of the conversion and harmonization process the FreeGIS.net team was able to properly use HALE to map the data model of the Province of Bolzano to the INSPIRE data schema and furthermore to convert the test dataset with the sole use of HALE.
HALE produces its output in the Geographic Markup Language(GML) format, which is a rather complex xml language able to support almost any application schema and therefore the perfect output format for a powerful yet generic tool like HALE. As a matter of fact GML is not the most optimized geographic format due to its verbosity and absence of any kind of spatial indexing.
For the above reasons the FreeGIS.net team decided to extend HALE enabling it to produce those output formats that are regularly used in the geographic world and common applications and communication protocols. This leads to an interesting byproduct of the harmonization process, an extension for HALE which supports the export of the datasets transformed by HALE both in the Shapefile (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shapefile) format and in a PostGIS (http://postgis.org/) ready sql import format.
Following the credo of the FreeGIS.net project, the developed extension will be released under a free and open source license and made available to the community. Hopefully the extension will also be integrated in one of the future versions of HALE.
LUNA-"The Long Night of Research"
On the evening of Septemper 28 in Bolzano takes place the now yearly event: "The Long Night of Research" of the TIS.
There will be different stands where the researches in progress-including the project FreeGIS.net are presented, as well as 14 activities, like:
• a LEGO bricks race
• how to make a garden on your house's roof
• a real treasure hunt.
Finally, at 6.30 p.m and 10 p.m there is abilingual theater in the plenary hall on the second floor: fun for kids and adults is guaranteed !
Large crowds are expected also at the European Academy of Bolzano (EURAC) on the Druso Bridge and in the Free University of Bolzano, which are both co-organizers of the "Long Night Research".
The open public consultation on the document "Guidelines for interoparable Open "by Digit PA has already been started.
The "Guidelines for semantic interoperability through Linked Open Data (LOD)", have already been published on the website of the Italian Digital Agency (ex DigitPA). The guidelines where prepared by a Working Group of the Coordination Commission of the Public Connectivity System (SPC).
The document pays much attention to the digital geographical information. It provides an overview of the European and national legislation, the state of the art (standards, technologies, tools) and proposes a methodological approach with the semantic interoperability through the LOD. Moreover, it allows to appreciate the position assigned to public spatial data, as type where to apply the paradigm of the open data and provides the semantic interoperability. By their nature, they lend themselves to be used in the context of the semantic web as connectors of disparate sources of information, enriching them, making them interoperable and more easily usable also in systems in which there is communication between machines.
The document also provides a useful guide for a first study about the analysis, understanding and the government of the social and economic impact/benefits which have been caused by the introduction and diffusion of the Open Data in the spatial data context. The exhibition is developed by using the concept of "value's chain", in order to identify the creators and the roles of the users of Open Data through the identification of a pattern of business models, which are enabled by the Open Data themselves . Until September 20, 2012 is possible to send any suggestions and recommendations concerning the document: http://www.digitpa.gov.it/notizie/linee-guida-open-data-interoperabili .
The italian admisntrations are formally obliged to choose Free Software whenever possible.
Law 137 of August 7, 2012 converted the Decree Law 83/2012 for urgent measures for the country's growth. It is commonly called Development Decree and contains several amendments to Article 68 of the digital Administrations' code (comparative analysis of the solution), which obliges the PA to give priority to open source solution than to proprietary products.
We recommend reading the comment by Simone Aliprandi, which is published here:
The Spending Rewiev promotes the usability of geospatial data of the Italian PA
The "Speding Review" is another converted law and has added an article (23, subsection 12-quaterdecies) in order to ensure the "usability of geospatial data acquired with public funds," from all stakeholders, including private . The text (which is available for example here: www.opengeodata.it/index.php?option=com_content&view=section&layout=blog&id=9&Itemid=68)i another important step towards the opening of the PA data. Nevertheless, the 'the absence of references to the regulations of the Open Data (read: re-use) for standards and tools that already exist (see RNDT, http://www.rndt.gov.it/RNDT/home/index.php) leads to the assumption that after the holidays, we will have critical comments, but also proactive suggestions, which aim to improve the legislation and the implementing rules.
Updated program of the AM/FM GIS Italia Conference( Rom,September 26 to 27)
This year, the annual conference AMFM takes place in the Aula Magna of the Faculty of Architecture, Sapienza of Rome on September 26 and 27. A detailed program of the conference and other useful information about this year congress are available at: http://www.amfm.it.
BRISEIDE TRAINING PATHS and TRAINING ACTIONS
BRISEIDE (http://www.briseide.eu) is an ICT Policy Support Programme project within EU. It involves 15 EU partners on the development of spatiotemporal web processes for geospatial application.
The project is now in the phase of disseminating its results: a set of e-learning modules has been developed, which are now being offered to the community of stakeholders.
The modules have been grouped in two different training paths, object of organised training actions:
BRISEIDE for Decision Makers
BRISEIDE for Developers
The training path and the proposal training modules are accessible at the project web page:
where links to access to a dedicated page for each training actions and have more information are also available.
The proposed structure of the training action is as follows:
• Introductory Workshop : September 5th, remotely assisted by GISIG.
• Training sessions remote assisted: from September5th to October 15th 2012.