Management of Environmental Information in the European Information and Observation Network (EIONET)

Thomas Pick, Hannu Saarenmaa, Kirsti Lounamaa


The reporting system of the European Environment Agency (EEA) depends on an integrated data flow, driven by the need for indicator data. EEA aims at streamlining this effort by establishing the ReportNet structure. It is the vision of a shared European Environmental Information Infrastructure, used by many networks, furthering standardised data interchange formats and communication protocols. The paper discusses the EEA data flow and reporting system and presents ReportNet as a strategy to integrate both. ReportNet, the EEA's electronic reporting network, is based on an integrated metadata management system, using DCES as the backbone for content description. It consist of 7 building blocks. The paper focusses on the data dictionary and the registry as the two central metadata management units, with the content being listed in a registry and the data and management elements registered in a dictionary. By automatically generating individual namespaces for each element on the fly and allowing for free combination of these to composites, the system guarantees maximum flexibility, demanded by the heterogeneity of the environmental domain. It is the diversity of this domain that inhibits the generation of a generic environmental namespace as a general tool for management of environmental information resources and data.
The technical architecture is based on SOAP and XML with individual services being implement in JAVA.

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