HUMBOLDT: providing tools to harmonise geographic data
The EU HUMBOLDT (2006-2010) project facilitates the harmonization of spatial data and metadata by providing tools to automate the necessary processes as far as possible using web services. These tools may therefore be useful to assist organisations to meet the requirements of INSPIRE. A number of open source tools exist that can be downloaded with accompanying documents and examples at http://community.esdi-humboldt.eu/. For example, open sources tools have been developed to ‘edge match’ geographic data which could be utilized in cross-border or other applications. Other tools exist to allow the ‘on the fly’ transformation of data in a source database to another schema such as one specified by INSPIRE.As part of the HUMBOLDT project, a number of scenarios have been developed to demonstrate how the tools can be used in real-world cases. BODC and 3 other European partners are involved in the ocean scenario whose focus is on making pollution reports available from disparate sources and harmonising the data. This harmonization is done ‘on the fly’ within each country using mappings between the source database and a target ‘model’ using the Humboldt ALignment Editor (HALE). Once this stage is complete a web processing service ‘the Humboldt Conceptual Schema Translator (CST)’ is used to translate the data into the target model. Thus users can view harmonized details for pollution incidents from both English and French records without the host organisations having to change the structure of their database. The ocean scenario is also considering sensitive area information and model outputs.