• The National Geoportal

    The point of access to the local and environmental information

What is the National Geoportal

As a huge on line geographic atlas including the cartography available on italian areas, from which to get tons of information on the main environmental and territorial themes: This is the National Geoportal (NG). It is managed and mantained to the Ministry of Environment and Protection of Land and Sea, it is the national access point of environmental and territorial data.

The needs to identify the GN as a focal point of territorial information takes its origin in the L. D. 32/2010 that has accepted in Italy  the european Directive INSPIRE that aims to realize a community infrastructure of territorial data to support european policy having a direct or indirect impact on the environmental themes of the Member States.

The National Geoportal, indeed, is the cornerstore of a network architecture thought as a federate network in which each node is connected to the central access point, the National Geoportal itself. The principal aim is the creation of a spread local informative system composed of nodes that make available their local and environmental information sharing their metadata; the management and the update of these metadata, of local data and concerning services, is in this way fulfilled by the administration that produces the data without any phisical movement of the same. This network is mostly made by public authorities that in this way can fulfill their istitutional duties relative to the planning and management of the territory and environment.

Who uses it?

The National Geoportal is an essential instrument for at least three different type of applications and consumers:

  • in administrative-politic sphere, it offers a foundamental support for the planning, control, risk management and prevention, for local institutions and administrations;
  • in academic and scientific sphere, establishing for the experts and research institutions a whole information catalogue of local and environmental types available that become reachable, mostly free of charge and in one font;
  • in the spere of the protection of landscape,  archeological heritage, architectonics and historical-artistics,  allowing to all the citizens a precise identification and the boundary definition on the territor.

The GN, through the overlap of several carthographic layers, give back to the consumer a power set of several services based on the product data application and validated by public administrations, therefore defined “ufficial” because their properties.

What it offers

The GN is composed by:

  • a map viewer;
  • a catalog of metadata that allows searching of data;
  • a set of services according to the standards of the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) identified by the INSPIRE Directive, that allow the visualization, data download and processing of the data itself.

The National Geoportal published and manages its metadata that comply with both the Direttiva INSPIRE and the metadata profile is dictated by the Italian Decree of 2011, November 10th of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers establishing the “Technical rules for the definition of the national inventory content of territorial data, as well as the modality of the first installation and updating of the same. ” The Metadata are published using a cataloging service (Catalog Service for the Web – CSW 2.0.2.) Standard OGC. The search service has been implemented using a distributed approach in a way that users, using only a single access point, can search on others geoportals within the federated network.

Most of the available data, all at the national level, can be viewed and used by OGC standard web services such as WMS Services (Web Map Services), WFS Services (Web Feature Services) and WCS Services (Web Coverage Services).
In order to improve the sharing of spatial and environmental information between central and local public authorities  it was implemented a WCTS Coordinate Transformation Service (Web Coordinate Transformation Service) using the Geographic Military Institute available high-precision grid (IGM). The service is free and available to all.

An open and extensible information system

The database of the National Geoportal consists of information gathered over time under different projects such as, for example, the Not-Ordinary Plan of Environmental Remote Sensing, dedicated to the prevention of hydrogeological risk, and the projects under the National Operational Plan (PON) “Security for development”, in collaboration with the  Environment Protection Command Carbiniers (CCTA), with the aim to improve the territory monitoring ability in order to prevent environmental crimes.
The GN peculiarity lies in the fact that it is an opened and expandable environmental geographic information system, made of data and metadata shared in turn by the other actors at national and decentralized levels that hold and manage the information, guaranteeing the management and updating.

Precisely for this reason – in compliance with the provisions of the mentioned L. D. 32/10 – it is currently working on an upgrade and expansion of the structure, involving more and more other administrations (until  it gets to the local ones) in order to standardize and share the available data. In this process, also it includes the last of the projects started, “Geoportal in the City”, which – in its pilot form – provides for the census, the cataloging and sharing of spatial data of the  Rome City Metropolitan Area:  an initiative, this, who wants to be a prime example of interoperability and a dialogue between various levels of government.

The Geoportal according to the INSPIRE Directive

The National Geoportal of the Ministry of the Environment and Land and Sea Protection operates within the legal framework established by L.D. 32/2010, as accepted, Italian transposition of European Directive 2007/2 / EC that establishes an Infrastructure for the spatial information in Europe Community (INSPIRE).
Article. 8 2nd paragraph of L.D. no. 32/2010 stipulates that the National Geoportal is the national point of access for the purposes of INSPIRE Directive allowing to the competent authorities, third parties and citiziens to search for the available spatial information.

For more information: What is the INSPIRE Directive

Ministero dell'Ambiente e della Tutela del Territorio e del Mare