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SDI in Europe
Learn about how Esri is assisting the development of Spatial Data Infrastructures (SDIs) in Europe.


Europe Inspired

This presentation, given by Jacqueline McGlade, Executive Director of the European Environmental Agency, at the INSPIRE Conference, talks about the importance of INSPIRE for sharing information across Europe.

What is INSPIRE?

The Infrastructure for Spatial Information in Europe (INSPIRE) is a directive passed by the European Commission, the executive body of the EU, to establish a European-wide spatial data infrastructure (SDI). Its goal is for an Internet-accessible infrastructure of technologies and permissions to tie European geospatial information producers and users together into a single geospatial information-sharing community to improve decision making and operations in service of a productive and sustainable Europe.

The Players

The INSPIRE stakeholders are the European Commission, the executive body of the European Union; the Member States of the European Union; and the Public Authorities within and across the Member States.

member states of the European Union

The Member States are
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • United Kingdom

The Mandates

INSPIRE will be a network of many interoperable SDIs that are created and maintained by EU member states and their agencies. The European Commission established five sets of implementing rules to qualify an SDI as INSPIRE-compliant.

These rules govern

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  • Data's conformity to INSPIRE standards
  • Conditions to access to use information
  • Quality and validity of data
  • Authority that established, manages, maintains, and distributes the data
  • Limitations on use and reasons for the limitations
Data Specifications
  • Contains complete and current metadata
  • Meet INSPIRE interoperability standards
Network Services
  • Discovery service (searches and views metadata)
  • View service (views data, overlays layers, displays legend and relevant metadata)
  • Download service (download all or part of a dataset or provides direct access)
  • Transform service (converts datasets and services to meet interoperability standards)
  • Invocation service (any additional services required to run an above service)
Data and Service Sharing
  • Community level geoportal
  • Datasets and services connect to the community level geoportal
  • Freely available to the public (Exceptions: fees, security, privacy, copyright)
  • Datasets and services are available to public authorities within and across Member States
  • Datasets and services shared with authorised organisations outside the EU
Monitoring and Reporting
  • Report and monitoring on datasets, services, and metadata
  • Reporting on status of INSPIRE requirements.

For more information about INSPIRE legislation and requirements, visit http://inspire.jrc.ec.europa.eu/index.cfm/pageid/3.

Data Themes

Annex I Annex II Annex III
  • Coordinate Reference System
  • Geographical Grid System
  • Geographical Names
  • Administrative Units
  • Addresses
  • Cadastral Parcels
  • Transport Networks
  • Hydrography
  • Protected Sites
  • Elevation
  • Land Cover
  • Orthoimagery
  • Geology
  • Statistical Units
  • Buildings
  • Soil
  • Land Use
  • Human Health and Safety
  • Utility and Governmental Services
  • Environmental Monitoring Facilities
  • Production and Industrial Facilities
  • Agricultural and Aquacultural Facilities
  • Population Distribution - Demography
  • Area Managements/Restriction/Regulation Zones and Reporting Units
  • Natural Risk Zones
  • Atmospheric Conditions
  • Meteorological Geographical Features
  • Oceanographic Geographical Features
  • Sea Regions
  • Bio-geographical Regions
  • Habitats and Biotopes
  • Species Distribution
  • Energy Resources
  • Mineral Resources

The Deadlines

For the latest information on the INSPIRE deadlines, please visit the INSPIRE Roadmap.