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Realising Early Benefits: How local authorities in England are implementing INSPIRE and reaping the benefits

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Like some central government departments that published their data to fulfil the requirements of the INSPIRE directive, local authorities in England are expected to do the same. If we learned anything from the central government departments that implemented INSPIRE earlier is that implementation can be challenging. This is even more so for local authorities that are being encouraged to demonstrate value for money in delivering local services. In spite of such challenges, and with financial help from Defra, local authorities are busy putting in place their INSPIRE services and seeing benefits in how they deliver geographic information beyond INSPIRE. The Local Government Association (LGA) have published 4 case studies that show how different local authorities across the country have implemented their INSPIRE services. The case studies also highlight the lessons these local authorities have learnt from their INSPIRE work as well as the benefits they are enjoying as a result.

These four case studies are very informative and provide great examples, not only for other local authorities but for central government organisations that are grappling with their INSPIRE implementation. The case studies provide insightful lessons on how the local councils implemented INSPRE.  For example Wycombe and Wirral engaged third party suppliers to set up their INSPIRE service whereas Copeland and Barrow opted for an open source solution. All four case studies provide valuable lessons that the local authorities learned covering many aspects of INSPIRE implementation – ranging from building a business case, getting senior management buy-in, and creating/publishing metadata to building Web Mapping Services.

In addition to sharing best practice on how to implement INSPIRE, the case studies also highlight the benefits that the local authorities are realising from implementing INPSIRE. Copeland’s Chief Executive, Paul Walker had the following to say:

“The benefits to Copeland from the INSPIRE solution are proving far reaching …….Spatial data continues to be increasingly used to underpin our business processes and functions and the solution we have implemented has provided a cost-effective way of managing this resource”

These case studies are worth a read. You can find them on the LGA website:

Alternatively you can download individual PDFs of the case studies via the links below:

Barrow Borough Council: http://Barrow Borough Council: Implementing an open source solution for INSPIRE publishing services (May 2014) (PDF, 8 pages, 201KB))

Copeland Borough Council: http://Copeland Borough Council: INSPIRE open source implementation learning from Barrow (August 2014) (PDF, 9 pages, 274KB)

Wirral Council: http://Wirral Council: Better information management through INSPIRE (May 2014) (PDF 8 pages, 385KB)

Wycombe District Council: http://Wycombe District Council: Implementing INSPIRE (May 2014) (PDF, 8 pages, 195 KB)

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1 comment

  1. Comment by Jo Cook posted on

    Unfortunately the pdf links in the above post don't work, although you can get to them by going to the link and downloading them from there. I'd also like to add that although Wycombe engaged a third party supplier for their INSPIRE implementation (disclosure- the company that I work for), the solution supplied was open source.