Natural disasters are increasing in frequency and intensity, and there are challenges facing Slovenia’s large number of protected cultural and natural heritage sites. Adequate spatial information is a prerequisite for preventing floods and reducing their risks and impacts.
The main goal of the project was to facilitate water management and reduce flood risks and impacts with increased INSPIRE compliance of data and data services.
There were four main activities, all interrelated:
- Provision of a modern geodetic reference system including the establishment of a vertical reference system
- Provision of topographic data compliant with the INSPIRE directive
- Modernisation and upgrading of a hydrographic spatial data infrastructure
- Facilitate the implementation of the INSPIRE directive, inter alia, through the establishment of a national geoportal in line with the INSPIRE directive.
Other objectives were to halt the loss of biodiversity by improving implementation of Natura 2000 Site Management and data collection, management and dissemination; and to safeguard cultural and natural heritage sites for future generations by contributing to conservation sites and making them more publicly accessible. Project partners included Ministry of Agriculture and Environment (MAE), Surveying and Mapping Authority of the republic of Slovenia (SMA), National Land Survey of Iceland.
The project was carried out by the Surveying and Mapping Authority of Slovenia in cooperation with the Association of Surveyors of Slovenia. To ensure additional expertise and experience, especially in terms of compliance with the European SDI, the Norwegian Mapping Authority and Landmælingar islands were donor project partners and contributed to achieving the results of the project.
The Surveying and Mapping Authority of the Republic of Slovenia (SMA) finished the project "Modernization of spatial data infrastructure to reduce risks and impacts of floods" in October 2017. General opinion among stakeholders was that the project has been successful.
Floods destroy property, endanger lives, the environment and businesses. In order to reduce risks and impacts of floods, effective interventions based on reliable and high-quality geodetic and spatial data are necessary.
Ensuring that spatial data is of high quality begins with creating a national geodetic infrastructure (physical establishment of the Slovene spatial coordinate system, used to determine precise location with 3D coordinates), creating topographic data (data regarding the physical characteristics of land surface and physical phenomena in space - natural or constructed), and creating an infrastructure for spatial information that is updated, accurate and easily accessible. All of these aspects constitute subprojects of the project.
Objectives of the project were: Improved compliance with European and Slovene environmental legislation; establishment of a spatial data infrastructure for monitoring; establishment of a geodetic reference frame (especially the vertical component) for managing flood risks and spatial planning; Preparation of spatial data and production of network services compliant with the INSPIRE Directive; and to increase the exchange of data regarding environmental impact assessments between Slovenia and other EEA member states. These objectives have been met completely.
A Slovene spatial coordinate system was created, in line with the European Spatial Reference System (ESRS). 16 permanent Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) stations were constructed to enable geodetic positioning of horizontal location with the accuracy of a few centimeters, and the Slovene quasi-geoid was calculated. Additionally, a network of 6 continuously operating national zero order geodetic points was established. These connect the horizontal, height and gravimetric components of the national coordinate system while also providing uninterrupted monitoring of the coordinate system’s state due to local and regional geotectonic events.
New topographic data was acquired using remote sensing techniques – aerial imaging and laser scanning (LIDAR). This data is compliant with the regulations of the European Commission INSPIRE Directive (Infrastructure for Spatial Information), are represented in the new national coordinate system, and available for viewing and downloading. Hydrographic data for the entire territory of Slovenia has been captured, and enables better hydrological modelling and analysis, improved decision-making regarding necessary protective measures and last but not least improvements for construction interventions for flood protection.
The result of this project is the establishment of the vertical component of the national coordinate system as well as data layers of basic topographic and hydrographic data, compliant with the INSPIRE Directive. Or in general, raised data infrastructure standards for Slovenia, and a foundation to prevent risks and impacts of floods. SMA plans to produce topographic data for areas that are missing or have outdated data for the entire country's territory as part of a new project for 2017-2021.