Statistics Portugal (INE) has been involved with the INSPIRE process since the Directive entered into force in Portugal, through a close cooperation with the National Mapping Agency, currently part of the General Directorate for the Territory (DGT).
The transposition of the Directive into Portuguese law, occurred in 2009 and established the creation of the Council for the Development of the National Geographic Information System (CO-SNIG), a strategic and coordination body aimed to support the INSPIRE implementation in Portugal and of which INE is a full member.
In order to fulfill its mandate, the CO-SNIG soon created several technical working groups, focused on monitoring & reporting, horizontal matters to all themes such as metadata & services, and ten thematic working groups to deal with the INSPIRE themes aggregated according to their affinity.
More recently these thematic groups have been redesigned in order to assure their alignment with the INSPIRE thematic clusters defined by the European Commission (EC). The nine Thematic Working Groups currently in place are: (TWG-1) Elevation, Orthoimagery, Reference Systems and Geographical Grids, (TWG-2) Biodiversity and Management Areas, (TWG-3) Earth Sciences, (TWG-4) Statistics, (TWG-5) Marine and Atmosphere, (TWG-6) Environmental Monitoring and Observations, (TWG-7) Land Cover and Land Use, (TWG-8) Facilities, Utilities and Public Services, and (TWG-9) Topographic and Cadastral Reference Data.
The TWG are composed by the public entities responsible for geographic datasets and services related to the INSPIRE themes, as well as stakeholders who have an interest on such matters.
INE is responsible for the production, maintenance and publication of some geographic datasets and services, being as well indirectly related with some other themes.
For the purpose, INE is actively engaged in five of the nine TWG, namely TWG-1 (Elevation, Orthoimagery, Reference Systems and Geographical Grids) , TWG-4 (Statistics), TWG-7 (Land Cover and Land Use), TWG-8 (Facilities, Utilities and Public Services) and TWG-9 (Topographic and Cadastral Reference Data).
Due to its formal responsibility on specific themes included on the TWG-4 (Statistics), such as Statistical Units and Demographics, INE has been appointed for the coordination of group.
Since TWG-9 (Topographic and Cadastral Reference Data) includes a broad range of INSPIRE themes, and having INE responsibilities for some of which, namely Geographical Names, Administrative Units, Addresses and Buildings, it assures the sub coordination of the group led by DGT.
INE expects that the strong involvement with the INSPIRE related activities in Portugal, either at the strategic level within CO-SNIG and the technical level in the working groups and TWG, will enhance its capacity to assure compliance with the Directive, as well as to promote data sharing amongst public entities and to improve the availability of geographic information for development and citizenship.