7th meeting of the MIG technical sub-group

Tuesday, 27th of May 2014, 9:30 – 11:00 CEST

Virtual meetings - Connection details


  1. Welcome and approval of the agenda (Michael)
    [9:30 – 9:40]
  2. Minutes of the previous meeting (for discussion and agreement) (Michael)
    [9:40 – 9:45]
  3. Feedback received on MIWP-13/14 and MIWP-21 (Michael, Robert, Vanda)
    • DE (MIWP-13/14)
    • SE (MIWP-13/14 and MIWP-21)
    • IT (MIWP-14)
  4. Short report from the Validation and conformity testing workshop (Daniela)
    [10:00 - 10:15]
  5. INSPIRE Conference (Michael)
    • MIG side meeting 17/6 9:00-12:30 (technical sub-group or both policy and technical sub-groups? Topics?)
    • Session chairs
      [10:15 - 10:30]
  6. Draft ToR MIG sub-group on SOS-based download services
  7. Corrigenda of TG documents (Michael)
  8. AOB
    [10:50 - 11:00]

FINAL Minutes


The minutes are based on the notes taken in the web-conference chat window by the scribe (Robin Smith) as well as comments made by participants in the chat.

Where “+1” is used in the minutes, this is to indicate support for the position of the previous speaker.

Actions are indicated in the minutes using the keyword [Action] and are summarised in the table below.

No. Action Redmine issue Responsible Due Done
4 Propose working methods, procedures and tools EC 30/11/2013
23 Propose members for a sub-group on XML schema maintenance MIG representatives 7/2/2014
26 Share relevant events with the group all continuous
40 Investigate whether JRC can transfer collected detailed issues to Redmine JRC 20140328
41 Open an issue in Redmine for topics for discussion for the meeting at the INSPIRE Conference #2160 JRC 20140603 x
42 Investigate how openly accessible issue trackers can be made available (in Redmine?) for consulations and open discussions #2163 JRC 20140630
43 Send out draft ToR for SOS sub-group for additional feedback and ask for participants in the MIG and pool of experts #2161 JRC, all 20140630 x
44 Send the ELF list of issues to the MIG / register them in the MIG issue tracker Christina (SE) 20140615
45 Raise the issue of corrigenda as a discussion item in Redmine #2162 JRC 20140615 x
46 Investigate how Redmine could be configured to allow any MIG representative to raise issues in all MIG sub-projects #2163 JRC 20140630
47 Clarify detailed procedure for selecting persons to participate in temporary sub-groups on the INSPIRE & MIG web sites #2164 JRC 20140630

Upcoming events

[To be decided how to keep track of events in Redmine]

Dates Event Location Comments
16-20/6/2014 INSPIRE Conference Aalborg Proposal to have a closed MIG face-to-face meeting as a side event. Further MIG involvement and presentation of progress is being currently discussed.

Minutes of the previous meeting

The minutes of the previous meeting were accepted as currently on the MIG wiki.

Feedback on MIWP-13/14 and MIWP-21

Markus suggested the updating process with clusters is a good idea and that he strongly supported merging tasks. He asked what the role of the MIG representatives currently mentioned in the MIWP task description would be.

Michael said that In the beginning, we wanted to know countries who were interested and maybe would like to lead a WP, but the procedure for being active should be separate to the MIWP drafting. ToR for specific sub-groups will be drafted by WP leaders and approved by MIG and experts from the pool of experts can then apply. We should therefore probably remove "participants" from the MIWP tasks in the next version.

Michael & Robert reported that JRC are preparing an open call for facilitators for the thematic clusters. The call will hopefully be published before the INSPIRE conference. Applicants should be experts with experience about INSPIRE and from thematic areas. The cluster facilitators will have to report (e.g. twice per year) on the on-going activity to the MIG.

Darja asked whether the clusters will be set up as sub-groups working on their own initiative or will they interact with users and data providers about implementation of the data specifications?

Michael and Robert clarified that the clusters will be based on an open space for online communication and exchange of experience on implementation rather than formal subgroup. The entry level should be low so that everyone can readily join the discussion. The goal will be to discuss about (and hopefully agree on) common solutions for implementation in the different thematic domains. These discussions should address not only the data interoperability but also the other aspects of INSPIRE (e.g. MD, NS, DSS). Use cases are of course an important driver for these discussions. The currently proposed groupings should be tested for the initial phase until the end of the year , but can still be modified based on the gathered experiences with the approach.

Vanda: actors at the national level should be active to understand implementation activities too. The platform can activate those in charge of topics to bring in more similar data from certain themes so that the data from monitoring and reporting is identified. We need to build on the experience from the development phase.

Darja: This is an important MIWP task. The clusters will guide different actors involved in implementation. They can also be an entry point for a data provider to understand the guidelines. The providers questions could be addressed to the cluster. Alex Ramage (UK) and Vanda (JRC) supported this,; Robert (JRC) said the thematic clusters are intended to be an entry INSPIRE implementation point. Providers should not address questions for data to the whole MIG, it would be better inside the right groups. Questions can be diverse, also relating to what to use and what is to be tested. Michael noted this is exactly the scope of this WP.

Christina said the clusters are important but asked how to get the questions into the MIG and how change requirements, also to IRs if needed, will be addressed? Would there be one MIWP task working on the technical part and another one (the clusters) for inputs for ideas help?

Darja & Chris (EEA): We would especially propose to merge thematic and technical experience and not to separate them again.

Michael: We agree about what needs to be done:

  1. We need a forum for the thematic implementers to discuss their questions, tools, architectures etc. and we need facilitators to aid that discussion. We had the INSPIRE forum for some time but we need facilitators too to get a critical mass. The clusters could also be incubators to identify problems in the guidelines and for proposing updates to the guidelines (or even IRs).
  2. Then there are projects and pilots for specific applications (reporting, international datasets FP7 projects building on INSPIRE etc.). How we follow those (esp. official ones like e-reporting) and how to ensure this follows INSPIRE are relevant.

We do not agree on the form on how the actions are put together in the work programme. There is no point in continuing to discuss how to package these activities - we just need to try out something and see what works and what doesn’t. Michael proposed to keep the current packaging, to check they are described well in work package texts and then review and adjust if necessary based on experience. We are all free to set up new MIWP tasks and sub-groups to update TGs based on feedback received from the thematic clusters

We did not use the suggestion to have a placeholder (as planned originally in MIWP-13) because it is important that updates are done by the same people that have been discussing the issues in the thematic clusters, or that they are at least involved in any updates afterwards. This is why MIWP-13 and MIWP-14 should be merged.

We need concrete examples and topics to test our structures and re-visit this in 6 months or so. Robert (JRC) said the TGs will be the base for discussion and further improvement. Alex Ramage (UK) and Christina Wasström (SE) agreed with Michael and Robert.

Darja highlighted that MIG-internal procedures are needed for feedback which cannot be solved within the thematic clusters. Michael: If there is discussion leading to formal requests, they will be tackled by the MIG request process.

Darja: Are these clusters supposed to work on future INSPIRE thematic extensions as well?

Vanda: Following Christina's comments - only by doing will we understand what is best. There could be doubts about separation. We need to discuss item 21 at the next MIG meeting. There are obligations needing to be fulfilled in thematic areas and for INSPIRE, so there is an advantage in looking at these together, alongside Horizon 2020 projects. It is important to take into account real-life cases. Vanda suggested bringing our opinions to the face-to-face meeting at the INSPIRE conference

Robert: It is part of the "real life" implementation in the MSs - so INSPIRE will always be implemented with " additions"

Alex Ramage (UK) said the proposal needed to be approved to be able to present it at the INSPIRE conference. Michael said a draft could be presented as a first version, as it is meant to be a rolling WP and Alex agreed.

Michael noted that JRC need to discuss with DGENV about the adoption of the WP (covered in point 5)

Validation and conformity testing workshop

Carlo provided an overview of the meeting, including a discussion of the scope and the idea to have separate subgroups for metadata, data and network services. The discussion included technical considerations including software, tools for performing some tasks in these three areas. Terminology related to "compliant" vs. "conformant" was discussed, alongside the validation of requirements for technical aspects coming from the TGs. This included the role of Abstract Test Suites (ATS) and Executable Test Suites (ETS). The main goals for a common validator will be to help data and service providers to understand if their implementations meet all the requirements, but also to provide details for monitoring and reporting (for the dashboard discussed in MIWP-16). It was agreed in the workshop to review the requirements included in the existing technical guidelines. Separate testing is needed for the three areas but a common tool is needed to allow all of them to be tested in the same place. The data specifications’ approach for the ATS can be contrasted with the other two areas (which have already implemented executable tests, but don’t have a formally defined ATS) to derive a common approach

Vanda: MIWG-21 regards the use of INSPIRE to implement other environmental policies; giving advice on how to follow the INSPIRE obligations. Participants agreed that this is the way to reach harmonisation and interoperability across policies.

Daniela: There was discussion at the workshop about whether TG or IR requirements should be the basis for the validator. It was agreed that the goal will be automatic testing and that this can only be performed based on the TG requirements for a specific technical solution (as proposed in the TGs). But the TG requirements should, as a first step, be revisited to identify those that directly reflect requirements from the implementing rules (as has already been done for the DS). The meaning of the test results was also discussed, and it was agreed that while the results of tools cannot be taken directly as a final legal statement, they are the strongest possible statement that data providers can get.

The minutes are available on the MIG wiki. The next action will be set up subgroup and draft the ToR and set up a call for participants.

INSPIRE Conference

From 9-12 on Tuesday (17/6) a MIG meeting will be set up. The tele-conference participants were asked if the policy sub-group should also meet, where the options were (1) all the morning session be dedicated to the technical subgroup, (2) some of the session be dedicated to the policy sub-group or (3) have a parallel meeting for the policy sub-group in another room if it can be found.

Emilio (ES) noted that the representative for Spain is in both subgroups and Michael noted that some nominations are missing from the policy sub-group. DGENV needs to decide if policy subgroup is set up or if it will be an informal meeting

Countries indicated their preference as follows:
  • 1 DE, DK, UK
  • 2 ES, ET, FR, IT, NL, NO, PL, SK, EEA,
  • 3 (DK), BE

As most indicated 2, JRC will ask DGENV, as noted above. Daniela suggested the policy sub-group would need an invitation very soon.

[Action] JRC to open an issue in Redmine for topics for discussion for the meeting.

Robin encouraged the MIG to participate in the ARE3NA/EEA session related to MIWP-3 and MIWP-17 that will present results and aim to gather delegates inputs to MIWP-17. Martin (SK) also highlighted projects connected with the MIG e.g. the workshop of the SmartOpenData Project.

The MIG is asked to collect and share MIG-relevant conference submissions and activities in the Redmine issue mentioned above.

Draft ToR MIG sub-group on SOS-based download services

Michael introduced a proposal to take the SOS work started in ARE3NA to the next stages and how this could work with other download activities. The scope should be focussed and limited to the SOS work (task MIWP-7a). If there is future work on the other sub-tasks on WCS and TJS-based download services (MIWP-7b and 7c), they can apply a similar process- based on the SOS experience. MIG representatives involved in the other sub-tasks were recommended to join this group as observers to adopt an approach.

Michael presented the proposed tasks for the proposed SOS MIG sub-group:
  • Develop a project plan including deliveries by July 2014
  • Review the proposal for the update of the technical Guidance for INSPIRE download services to include * SOS, provided by the Are3na INSPIRE/SOS study
  • Establish a web space and maintain an issue tracker for questions, related to the establishment of INSPIRE download services for observation data
  • Maintain and extend the results of the INSPIRE/SOS study
  • Propose and coordinate with the MIG update of the Technical Guidance document for INSPIRE download services.
  • Test the proposed approach with data from different Member states and different clients (web and desktop).
  • Regularly report the progress to the MIG.

Alex (UK) mentioned the time scale may be quite tight. Michael said the work should be ready by the end of the year (July for the project plan).

Darja & Chris (EEA) felt that an open issue tracker would be great to have not only for SOS but for other topics and WPs as well. Michael agreed this should be available beyond the work packages.

[Action] JRC to investigate how openly accessible issue trackers can be made available (in Redmine?) for consulations and open discussions.

Vanda (JRC) highlighted that this work could have very important results with impacts on eReporting for several environmental policies & related pilots.

There was some agreement already about the ToR focusing on the SOS. The participants of the workshop in April would be the primary addressees.

[Action] JRC to send out draft ToR for additional feedback and ask for participants in the MIG and pool of experts.

Corrigenda of TG documents

Michael reported that some small errors in some Annex I TG docs have been found (e.g. URIs for identifying the specifications still contain a rc1-version number). The question is whether new versions of the documents (i.e. version 3.1.1) should be published for such minor bug fixes OR if such corrigenda should be collected and published with a statement in the TG document "version x" - known corrigenda can be found at this link. The latter option would be much easier to implement and it would be clearer to the reader what exactly has changed from one version to the next (without having to publish a detailed change log). In addition, the collected corrigenda could be checked at regular intervals (once every 6 months or 1 year) to see if they would warrant a new version of the document.

The majority of participants supported the idea to document corrigenda.

Christina mentioned that also in the ELF project, some errors were identified and asked how these should be handled. Michael said that there already have been discussions around schemas between ELF and JRC and that JRC is currently waiting for further clarifications. [Action] Christina to send the ELF list of issues to the MIG / register them in the MIG issue tracker.

Also, the process for raising issues was discussed in Arona – they should go through the MIG representatives, EEA or JRC.

Christina asked how we could organise quality checking of the documents. Michael answered that there will be always errors in the specifications given the complexity, and that we need to decide on how to report and deal with them. Also, often “errors” are rather misunderstandings or lack of understanding of base standards etc. The thematic clusters should also aid the discussion about these. Robert suggested that it should be among first tasks for the facilitators of the thematic clusters to read the relevant data specifications in detail. The importance of thematic clusters for quality checking was supported by Michel (NL) and Darja & Chris (EEA).

A question was raised on the link between the updates to guidelines and the update to schemas. This is a discussion for MIWP-18 (see minutes from the Paris meeting).

[Action] JRC to raise the issue as a discussion item in Redmine.

Alex Ramage (UK) asked how MIG members can raise issues to WP they are not directly involved in.

[Action] JRC to investigate how Redmine could be configured to allow any MIG representative to raise issues in all MIG sub-projects.


Arvid asked about the detailed procedure for selecting persons to participate in temporary sub-groups.
  1. register in pool of experts?
  2. country or MIG representative proposes name to Commission - or is interested person going directly to group leader?
  3. Commission decides - or group leader?

[Action] JRC to clarify this on the INSPIRE & MIG web sites.