Of course all this nattering about formalising information model development is precisely the process that both GEOSS and INSPIRE are going through. The difference for us is that we’re a small domain, a lot of what we want to model (in the information sense) is not geospatial, and our user community is both global and not EO in the GEOSS sense.
Still, the INSPIRE implementing rules have a lot of relevance (albeit at 151 pages, like the ISO documents, their relevance is diluted by verbiage. It’s hard to get excited if the key message has to take that long to deliver).
In particular, given that we have a number of communities to deal with, a key requirement is to get the level of “harmonisation” right:
(figure 15 from the INSPIRE Methodology for the development of data specifications.)