Legionnaires' disease outbreak investigation toolbox

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Any potential initiative looking to share data across European borders should be aware of INSPIRE. Data interoperability between European nations is a much wider issue than for Legionnaires' disease analysis alone. Directive 2007/2/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 March 2007 establishing an Infrastructure for Spatial Information in the European Community (INSPIRE) was published on the 25th April 2007 and the INSPIRE Directive entered into force on the 15th May 2007.

To ensure that the spatial data infrastructures of the Member States are compatible and usable in a Community and transboundary context, the Directive requires that common Implementing Rules (IR) are adopted in a number of specific areas (Metadata, Data Specifications, Network Services, Data and Service Sharing and Monitoring and Reporting).

All member states are required by law to publish the following network services for certain datasets (the data are classified into 3 annexes which have different timescales for each of the annexes, annexes I & II deadlines Dec 2010 and Nov 2011, annex III by Dec 2013):

1. Discovery Services (metadata about published data and services)

2. View Service (a map (spatially referenced image) of data)

3. Download Service (the retrieval of the data itself)

4. Coordinate Transformation Service (the conversion of data to another INSPIRE specified coordinate system)

The INSPIRE initiative should make the integration of data between European partners simpler moving into the future and should be carefully considered. Data relating to the incidence of Legionnaires' disease itself may fall into the data category covered by annex 3 (5) : Human Health & Safety €" " Geographical distribution of dominance of pathologies (allergies, cancers, respiratory diseases, etc.), information indicating the effect on health (biomarkers, decline of fertility, epidemics) or well-being of humans (fatigue, stress, etc.) linked directly (air pollution, chemicals, depletion of the ozone layer, noise, etc.) or indirectly (food, genetically modified organisms, etc.) to the quality of the environment.