Inspiring INSPIRE – European Air Quality Reporting Based on INSPIRE

Contributed by: 
Katharina Scheidt

The INSPIRE Thematic Working Groups (TWG) have been collecting and structuring the requirements for the provision of data within their thematic domain. The resulting thematic Data Specifications, based on OGC and ISO/CEN standards, have been designed to support the various usage areas, including environmental reporting on both the national and the European level. Those INSPIRE Themes that encompass the provision of observational or measurement data integrate the OGC Observations & Measurements schema (O&M; ISO 19156); the usage of O&M has been streamlined across INSPIRE themes to assure for easy reuse of existing tools across thematic domains.

Directive 2008/50/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 May 2008 on Ambient Air Quality and Cleaner Air For Europe (CAFE) states that air quality information shall be made available to the public in accordance with INSPIRE.

The following steps are necessary for the extension of INSPIRE Data Specifications to reporting requirements:

  • Analyse reporting concepts from legal requirements;
  • Identify relevant INSPIRE Themes;
  • Identify relevant INSPIRE Feature Types;
  • Map reporting concepts to INSPIRE Feature Types:
  • Provide Mapping from reporting concepts to (extended) INSPIRE classes.

The OGC Sensor Observation Service (SOS) will be used for the provision of air quality reporting data as this allows for far more flexible access to the measurement values; the same service can provide both near real time data as well as validated assessment data.

Through the use of standards based INSPIRE data specifications in the AQ reporting process, great synergies can be attained. Member States only need to set up one INSPIRE service providing relevant Air Quality Features and Data to cover both their INSPIRE obligations as well as their legal reporting obligations pertaining to Air Quality.