Habitats (Social Validation of INSPIRE Annex III Data Structures in EU Habitats) related spatial data is critical in the management of Europe's bio-diversity. INSPIRE needs work here, particularly in its Annex III data themes: 16-18 (Sea regions, Bio-geographical regions, Habitats & biotopes, Species distribution).
To address this, the HABITATS consortium of 10 partners, including content providers, users and service providers builds a trans-European social network to generate usage scenarios and requirements and assess the impact of project outcomes, to directly feed into interactive data/metadata modelling of the four INSPIRE Annex III data themes 16-19. Widespread user validation is grounded in 7 pilot services covering these data themes across Europe & led by content-providing partners. Its deeply user-driven approach to standards adoption processes permeates a 30-month workplan.
The validation pilots are formed by multi-stakeholder partnerships where users actively participate in the co-design of the network services, develop on-demand for integration into the pilot service mash-up platforms. Validation pilot partnerships develop and test organisational/institutional arrangements for service sustainability and business models that underpin the project's exploitation strategy. Specific and realistic quantified indicators measure the envisaged improvements in availability, access and use.
The HABITATS network of services allows users to identify, access, use/reuse, in an interoperable and seamless way, aggregated geographical information covering much of Europe and coming from a wide range of sources, from local to European level, resulting in:
a) Data/metadata models for INSPIRE
b) Network Service architecture, applet set & invoking service toolkit;
c) Seven validated pilot services for concrete usage scenarios;
d) Service/business models and exploitation plans for long-term viability;
e) HABITATS user community social network to accompany the standards adoption process & spread the project's impact throughout Europe.