INSPIRE Thematic Clusters

Cultural Heritage Protected Sites


It may be useful to share with Thematic Cluster community this brief questions and answers thread with the Czech National Heritage Institute (kindly allowing me to publish) .

Which point is essential for the duty to harmonise datasets of cultural area? Is it primarily Annex I (Protected Sites) or Annex III (Buildings)? How to develop real interoperability? There is need for a consistent approach to cultural heritage spatial data across boundaries. We use expression “protected site” as general term, for not only sites themselves but also cultural monuments. We should seek the consent in classification and on modelling of real world.

  • The area on which the protected building is located (eventually also the area all around, according to the relevant protection legislation act) is to be reported under protected sites data theme
  • The detailed description of the building itself as a construction should be provided under the Buildings data theme.

Under what conditions a protected building area is a cultural heritage PS?

The thematic scope of the INSPIRE data specification on Protected Sites is based on two criteria (see page 3 of INSPIRE Data Specification on Protected Sites):

  1. The protection of the Site must be defined by legislation (whether international, European Community or national) and
  2. The protection of the Site must be for specific conservation objectives, whether nature, cultural or other conservation

Therefore, when the protected building (and/or the area all around) is defined through a legal / administrative act targeting specific cultural conservation objectives, it falls under Protected Sites data theme.

Further classification of so called “designated” objects according to “Designation Scheme Values” list is essential. We use  articles “UNESCOWorldHeritage” and “nationalMonumentRecord” which is even extendable. Subordinate “NationalMonumentRecordDesignationValue” list is however  insufficient for cultural use (and unfortunately NOT extendable).

You should:

  1. extend the DesignationSchemeValue code list e.g. adding the new code list CulturalHeritage
  2. extend the DesignationValue code list with the values for the new code list e.g. CulturalHeritageValue code list.

For more details, have a look at the thematic cluster page on How to extend INSPIRE code lists.

Metadata: there is a need of more precise keywords for this specific the type of datasets. Use of GEMET keyword is mandatory, but only one allowed term “protected sites” is nearly meaningless.

In addition to the keyword from the GEMET thesaurus describing the relevant spatial data theme, one can provide other keywords as free text. If the keyword value originates from a controlled vocabulary, the citation of the originating controlled vocabulary shall be provided.

The Thematic Cluster could be a good place for domain experts to share ideas and experiences e.g. on which controlled vocabularies to reference.

Where to find examples of webservices for PS data?

Have a look at these TC pages:

Examples of INSPIRE Download Services for the data themes in the Biodiversity and Management Areas Cluster

Examples of INSPIRE View Services for the data themes in the Biodiversity and Management Areas Cluster

Proposed extension to the Protected Sites Schema for Cultural Heritage(Fernandez Freire, C. et al: 2013 (article under review) A Cultural Heritage Application Schema: towards interoperability of Cultural Heritage Data in INSPIRE International Journal of Spatial Data Infrastructures Research, vol.8  

should be rediscussed as it clearly defines common problems of cultural heritage spatial data for INSPIRE.

Extending INSPIRE data models for national and/or thematic needs is indeed a hot topic (after all, the INSPIRE core data models are designed to be extensible). A collection of examples and best practices aimed to easy reuse of INSPIRE extensions from different thematic domains is available in the INSPIRE Data Specification Extension repository, but nothing on cultural heritage topic has been reported yet. Adding the Cultural Heritage Application Schema / data model to the extension repository would be a good opportunity to make it more easily discoverable and discussed within thematic community