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Irish minister supports adoption of geo-location services in Public administration

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The Irish Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Phil Hogan, supports expanding the use of (geo) location in electronic public services. Addressing the EUROGI ImaGIne Conference in Dublin on 7 March, Minister Hogan expressed his appreciation for the European Commission's efforts to get a wider range of public administrations to benefit from an environmental spatial data infrastructure, among other through the European Location Framework (EULF). The EULF is developed under the ISA programme which supports interoperability, sharing and re-use between Public administrations in Europe.

The EULF action is building on the results of the INSPIRE directive. INSPIRE aims to create a European Union (EU) spatial data infrastructure for the sharing of environmental information among public sector organisations. At the same time, geographic information systems are on their way to become a standard feature in many electronic public services and functions. To make it easier to exchange, share and use spatial or location data beyond the area of environment, the EULF is funding activities that will result in a collection of the best methodologies, specifications, standards and guidelines in the field, underpinned, if required, by policy. "I certainly support this initiative", the minister said, underlining that it could add to economic growth and job creation.

The EULF project will soon consult public administrations on a common vision for a coherent approach to the sharing and use of location information and services. "We aim to present in 2014 our first set of documents, standards, guidelines and procurement examples", says Paul Smits, team leader of the action at the European Commission's Joint Research Centre in Ispra, Italy. “Moreover, we will submit suggestions for the review of the EU's Inspire Directive, which is planned for next year. With our input, examples and use cases, we intend to bridge the current gap between the geo-location standards and methods and those of other public administration services. A coherent approach to geospatial interoperability is key."

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