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Spatial Data Infrastructure Act

By means of the Spatial Data Infrastructure Act the access of citizens, science, the economy and administration to spatial data shall be improved before the background of an integrated environmental policy.

By means of this Federal Act Directive No 2007/2/EC establishing an Infrastructure for Spatial Information in the European Community (Inspire) has been incorporated into Austrian law at federal level.  The Federal Provinces, too, have implemented this Directive by means of spatial data infrastructure laws or amendments of existing laws. This Directive constitutes a framework for the shaping of spatial data infrastructures of the Member States of the European Union, which is substantiated by implementing rules of the European Commission.

Objectives

The "Inspire Directive" aims at the improvement of the availability, quality organisation, accessibility and use of spatial data by public authorities or the public. In this way first and foremost the integration of the requirements of environmental protection into the community policies for the purposes of an integrative environmental policy shall be improved by means of the more transparent usability of spatial data for the citizens, science, the economy and the administration the value-added potential of spatial data shall be further activated.

Which spatial data are to be made available?

The GeoDIG is to be applied concerning available spatial data in the form of spatial data sets (collections of spatial data), and spatial data services (computer applications) which concern at least one of the 34 topics mentioned in the Annexes to this Act. The establishment of new spatial data is not required.

Who must make available spatial data according to the GeoDIG?

The INSPIRE Directive comprises in particular all institutions of the Austrian public administration and such institutions which have (other) public functions or render public services. The GeoDIG is in particular applicable to federal agencies and other bodies belonging to the sphere of influence of the federal government. Other persons (”third parties”) which are not “public spatial data agencies” for the purposes of the laws of the Federal Provinces, other Member States of the European Union or states deemed equivalent to them are free to offer their spatial data sets or services by means of integration in the spatial data infrastructure, which is to be enabled, if certain requirements are met.

What is regulated by the GeoDIG?

The GeoDIG provides, according to the INSPIRE Directive and its implementing rules, a gradual implementation until 2020 and regulates in particular

  • the preparation of  meta data (in order to describe the spatial data so that they can be found with respect to a better usability for others),
  • the interoperable  processing of spatial data for their compatibility,
  • the creation and the operation of network services based on the internet for the public accessibility and usability of spatial data under certain conditions (such as fees),
  • the utilisation of spatial data between domestic public spatial data agencies and the spatial data agencies of other Member States of the European Union and by the European Union,
  • the coordination in the course of the efficient establishment of (a) spatial data infrastructure(s), and
  • the obligation of monitoring the spatial data infrastructure and of writing reports to the European Commission, which are each also to be published on the internet.

It is to be expected that the spatial data infrastructure of Austria will be decisively changed by the laws implementing the INSPIRE Directive, such as the GeoDIG as well as the implementing rules of the European Union.

Legal bases

Next to this you will find the Geo DIG, the INSPIRE Directive and its implementing rules for download, the latter provided that they have already been enacted by 21 September 2011.

Further information

You will find more detailed information on the INSPIRE Directive on the European Commission website and on its implementation in Austria under inspire.gv.at