PAe - the legal framework of the infrastructure and geographical information services: a model to encourage reuse
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The legal framework of the infrastructure and geographical information services: a model to encourage reuse

28 february 2019

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Geographical information generated in any Area - and particularly in the public has a keen interest by committed for which is generated and maintained as to other applications and, in addition, it is a great potential for advancing the knowledge society.

It is unquestionable that the development of information and communication technologies has enabled the integration of data obtained from different backgrounds, from which can be articulated value-added services based on interoperability. However, in addition to these technological premises and, indeed, the obvious economic interests linked to such services, the popularization of geographical information services with an indisputable value added (Opens in new window) can only be explained in the final analysis, at least from a legal point of view, in the proper configuration of the normative framework underlying. Therefore, is of particular interest to identify the key regulatory model that could serve as a lesson for other sectors of public activity which purported to promote an effective policy of open data providing incentives for reuse.

The characteristics of the regulation of access to infrastructure and geographic information services

  • Firstly, it seems unquestionable the benefit of the existence of specific legislation at european level as the INSPIRE Directive (Opens in new window) adopted in 2007, which aims to ensure that spatial data infrastructures of member states are compatible and interoperable in a context of the community and cross-border, Apart from general provisions on access and reuse, aims to facilitate the implementation of public policies based on geographic information systems; without that, in addition, is no accident that this information is Closely linked to an area such as the environment, where there is a legal regime (Opens in new window) especially garantista in providing access to information.

  • Moreover, it has to be emphasised a requirement that data are in electronic form and, additionally, it is inexcusable the use of metadata, whose scope and content are even legally set with regard to their main demands.

  • The establishment of a clear and unequivocal legal obligation to respect the demands of standardization and interoperability. It is important to bear in mind that in the one hand, have to respect the general rules National Interoperability (Opens in new window) , applicable to any public activity to use electronic means; and that the uniqueness of geographic information systems requires complete with specific rules (Opens in new window) they are established by a single Body - the Geographic High Council (Opens in new window) - taking into account international standards.

  • Managing the system on the basis not only the principle of coordination but also and above all, of the cooperation of various public entities; premise of special relevance in a decentralized organizational context such as the spanish government, where various administrative levels have their own autonomy. In this regard, beyond generic and imprecise statements, provides legal legally mutual access to data and to facilities except judicial decision or, where appropriate, the attendance of any of the cases provided for legally justified, i.e. public security, defence, the existence of emergencies or international relations. Moreover, the board of the legislator is unambiguous in establishing a prohibition of restrictions which prevent the pooling of data, provided that no specific provision in the opposite direction.

  • With regard to restrictions on access to data, the regulation part of the establishment of specific cases that are subject to a specific wording that leaves little room for interpretation.

  • Even when observing the possibility of requiring the charging of fees or public fees, however its amount is limited to the minimum required to ensure data quality and services. In Addition, there are certain cases of free, as with the information that is linked with fulfilment of obligations related to european regulations protecting the environment. Similarly, is also free with a general nature of certain services provided by location and visualization, except where there are objective circumstances that warrant the levy of public price, as uniquely with large amounts of data which require constant updating. Since these keys, the conditions of use of the centre of Downloads of the national centre for Geographic Information (Opens in new window) are determined in accordance with a license compatible with CC-BY 4.0, which provides for the free use and free of charge for any lawful purpose.

  • Finally, non-exhaustive, think that it is important to support in an administrative instrument, such as the cadastre, composed of real property and therefore becomes one of the axes of the geographic information systems with a minimum of precision and accuracy.

In short, the fact that the legal regime applicable to facilitate the integration of any sources throughout spain and the european union, and can be shared among different users and applications; it would be possible for geographical data collected to a certain level of administrations and public sector agencies are shared with other administrations and agencies of the public sector; that could be given to geographical data under conditions which do not unduly restrict its use became widespread; and that, ultimately, it is possible to locate the geographic information available, assess their suitability for a particular purpose and learn about their conditions of use, as well as its legal effects and technical subcommittee, are essential premises for understanding the momentum of services in this area.

Again, are the words of the legislator to explain the scope of the measures which states, which, ultimately, listed some undeniable conditions that have helped to facilitate the re-use of geographic information. Would it be meaningful to replicate this regulatory model in other areas?

Original source of news (Opens in new window)

  • Infrastructure and common services