7. Interoperability and data registration

Anon. 2003. GeoConnections Discovery Portal. (available at http://geodiscover.cgdi.ca/gdp/index.jsp?language=en.)

Good example of a Portal.


Definition of interoperability: �the ability of a system or a product to work with other systems or products without special effort on the part of the customer.�


Anon. 2003. Swedish National Road Database. Swedish National Road Administration.

Includes collaboration with forest industry, data suppliers for 240000 km of road. Uses data registration at source, which enables a high level of up-to-dateness in the information provided. Contracts are signed with data suppliers who share joint rights to the data, and the data will be available to everyone on equal terms at a price that promotes use. The quality of the data should be well-defined. Data should be highly current and one way to achieve this is through registration at source, i.e., the responsibility for keeping the data up-to-date should be related as far as possible to responsibility for road management. Contracts are signed with data suppliers who share the rights to the data. Data shall be structured to comply with the standardisation within the field of landscape information. Data shall be available to both public and commercial players on equal terms, and the price for the data will be set to promote widespread use. Quality assurance of the data supply is conducted within the framework of ISO 9001 and ISO 10015, and these standards are used when developing a quality system and quality plan for the data supply operation. The quality of data is described in the form of quality declarations, using a quality model in accordance with national reparations for an international standard (STG Hb 171). One reason for registering data at source is to take advantage of what is known by each supplier concerning his own data, about local conditions, etc and to ensure continued updating. If the information sought is not available from the relevant road manager, either information that exists somewhere else can be used or new data collection is initiated. The road manager concerned should take part in this decision as well as assume responsibility for future updates. Data supply is based on framework agreements that outline the basic principles for providing data. With the framework agreements as a basis, it is then possible to draw up contracts that regulate in detail how the data supply can be handled.


Anon. 2003. Z39.50 International Standard Maintenance Agency. Library of Congress. (available at http://lcweb.loc.gov/z3950/agency/.)

Access to Z39.50 resources.


Miller, Paul. 2000. �Interoperability. What is it and Why should I want it?�. In Ariadne, ( Issue 24, 21-Jun-2000), (available at http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/issue24/interoperability/.)

To be interoperable, �one should actively be engaged in the ongoing process of ensuring that the systems, procedures and culture of an organisation are managed in such a way as to maximise opportunities for exchange and re-use of information, whether internally or externally.� Subdivisions include Technical Interoperability, Semantic Interoperability, Political/ Human Interoperability, Inter-community Interoperability, Legal Interoperability and International Interoperability. �In some cases, this new openness is as part of a requirement for accountability to voters, staff, or shareholders. In others, it is a business decision taken in order to harness knowledge and gain advantage over competitors. Whatever the reason, this drive towards interoperability will necessarily lead to changes in the way that the organisation operates. A truly interoperable organisation is able to maximise the value and reuse potential of information under its control. It is also able to exchange this information effectively with other equally interoperable bodies, allowing new knowledge to be generated from the identification of relationships between previously unrelated sets of data. Changing internal systems and practices to make them interoperable is a far from simple task. The benefits for the organization and those making use of information it publishes are potentially incalculable.�


Thomson, A.J. 2003. Information Interoperability And Organization For National And Global Forest Information Systems. Conference Held September 17-19th, Quebec City, as a side event of the XII World Forestry Congress. (available at http://pfc.cfs.nrcan.gc.ca/interop/.)

Conference program PowerPoint presentations available for download. Themes include Foundations and Fundamentals, Systems and Applications, and The Human Factor. In a digitally networked age, the ability to connect systems, databases and information-rich environments becomes more possible but also more problematic. The goal of seamless, transparent, and 'user-friendly' information access makes interoperability a required attribute of databases, systems, and vocabularies. This conference brought together international scientists, practitioners, information professionals and administrators to discuss the technical and human dimensions of efforts to enhance interoperability within regional, national and global forest information systems.