The RISE (Reference Information Specifications for Europe) project is focused on the central issue of geodata harmonization, which is widely considered a prerequisite for interoperability among spatial information systems. Europe's Space programme, EC Directives, GMES and INSPIRE help to provide the guidance, policy, and infrastructure for geodata documentation, collection, and exchange.

The goal of the RISE project is to define geospatial data implementation specifications with the following main objectives:

* Be user-driven and meet the requirements of GMES, INSPIRE, other EC policies and EU strategic objectives
* Build synergies with existing projects and exploit the results of past projects
* Develop and test a subset of the implementation specifications
* Define a repeatable capability for further development, adoption and implementation of the specifications
* Raise awareness of the results and recommendations of the project.

The project uses a five-stage approach embracing:

* Building the collaborative process by bringing together the parties who need to be involved
* Iterative development of the specifications
* Testing of the specifications with users through prototyping provision of the specifications to industry and standards bodies
* Definition of a repeatable capability for future implementation.

To achieve these process objectives, the project brought together complementary skills areas and the leading organizations in their respective fields. EuroGeographics and its member NMCAs (National Mapping and Cadastre Agencies) will bring to the RISE project the network of the custodians of the main spatial data components necessary for the interoperable functioning of GMES and INSPIRE. OGC-Europe, supported by OGC member organizations, will bring to the project the know-how of the Geographic Information (GI) Industry and the technology that supports GI interoperability.