Building the Hellenic National Geospatial Infrastructure from Scratch: Challenges, Legislation, Progress and Experiences
Despite its current struggles and hardships due to the severe economic crisis, the Greek Government opted to face the delay in the transposition of the INSPIRE Directive as an opportunity for development and growth, rather than as a burden. Swift action was undertaken, leading not only to the much anticipated transposition law, but also to the establishment of a new architecture for the effective management of the Geospatial Information of the country.
Law 3882/2010, enacted on the 22nd of September 2010, is the result of this intense effort. This piece of legislation not only transposed the INSPIRE Directive, but also established the foundation for the implementation and development of the Hellenic National Geospatial Data Infrastructure (H-NGDI), the major SDI network in Greece. The legislation overcomes existing fragmentary approaches and practices to geodata management and organization by putting forth a carefully-designed framework of administrative, legal and technical measures and initiatives in order to ensure a functional and sustainable NGDI. The legal framework of the NGDI also encourages the active participation of the private industry, the academia and the wider public both in the role of users as well as that of contributors to the NGDI.
Simultaneously with the law’s enactment, a geoportal offering public and open geodata to citizens went online. It is based exclusively on FLOSS GIS tools and technologies, it is deployed on modest infrastructure and it has, since the time of its launch, served more than 200.000 unique visitors and 3,5TB of geodata. During this initial phase of the infrastructure, the primary aim of the geoportal is to promote openness and data dissemination and to minimize public spending through the reuse of data.