Free Our Data: the blog

A Guardian Technology campaign for free public access to data about the UK and its citizens


How the Inspire directive was watered down

This week’s Guardian Technology looks at the lobbying that led to the Inspire directive moving from one which would have mandated free data access between governments (and users?) in Europe, to one which allows organisations that charge for data to continue to do so.

Read Britain poised for victory in Brussels (which due to deadlines had to be completed before the vote and text was completely finalised).

However, the reaction has been mixed. Ed Parsons, chief technology officer of Ordnance Survey, writes on his personal blog (which reflects his views, not necessarily those of OS):

I would caution anyone reading too much into these early reports, the devil will be in the detail here.. and we should also not forget that INSPIRE is about a lot more than the licensing regime.

From now on the technical experts can get on with drafting the principles around which the infra-structural components that will allow spatial data to be shared can be built – in my mind the really important part of INSPIRE

the creation of metadata; the technology of interoperability; the development of data services; mechanisms to promote national co-ordination.

We’ll have to see quite what shape of devil is in those details. By the way, does anyone know of any bloggers within other relevant organisations, such as UK Hydrographic Office?

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