European SDI Best Practice Awards 2009

Learning from Best Practices
International Conference in Turin, Italy
26th and 27th November 2009

Twelve outstanding Spatial Data Infrastructures (SDIs) from 9 European countries were highly commended at an International Conference in Turin on November 26th and 27th 2009 in Turin, Italy. The aim of the event was to highlight promising SDI solutions in Europe, to exchange experiences and to learn from each other. The twelve award winners were selected from 135 regional and local Spatial Data Infrastructures in 24 countries in Europe.

The conference was organised by the eSDI-Net+ project and hosted by Regione Piemonte. It attracted an international audience of about 130 professionals engaged in SDI and related GI activities at the European, national, regional and local levels.

Speakers presented their solutions, focusing on the key factors of their success. Besides the provision of viewing services, information exchange with the user community and free of charge data provision, the speakers emphasized the necessity to start small and grow up fast. "Don't think that you can provide the final solution on one day; start to build up a small corner. The users will validate it by its application and give you their feedback. So you can start on working on the next step." (Steve Brandwood, UK)

A six person Jury was set up during the eSDI-Net+ project to evaluate the 135 submissions of sub-national (regional and local) level SDIs that were collected as a result of the workshops held throughout Europe during 2008 and 2009. The main message for the Award Jury was that "each Spatial Data Infrastructure is a special case." The diversity of experiences made was a fundamental challenge for the Jury. Facing the difficulty of comparing "apple and pears, oranges and potatoes" Jury, consisting of 6 GI experts, decided to highly commend all twelve SDIs. The chairman of the Award Jury, Ian Masser, has summarized the evaluation results in a detailed Jury report.

Previous to the Award, all SDIs in Europe were invited to submit their best practice and be part of the fast growing network of SDIs. After an initial evaluation of the applications, a number of promising SDIs has been selected for detailed interviews to provide further information. Each interviewed SDI was evaluated by the national representatives of the eSDI-Net+ project, focusing on the key aspects such as:

  1. Technological, innovative level and originality of the project
  2. Implementation and/or readiness for INSPIRE principles
  3. Level of fostering cooperation between different users (proof of visibility and/or user feedback)
  4. Possibility of extension or transfer to other countries and regions

More images of the Award ceremony are available here.