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INSPIRE Reference Validator and Interoperability (...)

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In order to ensure the interoperability of the INSPIRE metadata, data, and services, basic tools are needed to help INSPIRE implementers to validate automatically their resources in a simple but, above all, reliable way using common rules



EIF interoperability level

INSPIRE Component

MIG activities

  • Technical
  • Semantic
  • Organisational
  • Legal
  • Metadata
  • Network Services
  • Monitoring/ Reporting
  • Data & Service Sharing

Work package 5 “Validation and conformity testing”



Public administrations need to share data, metadata and services as part of the INSPIRE Directive. Common approaches rules and tools are needed to support interoperable approaches, especially those who want to verify that the outputs of their work are meeting requirements. In this context, validators play an important role, especially for those responsible for delivering data according to INSPIRE's roadmap.
Although some INSPIRE validators have been developed, inconsistencies emerged arising from different interpretations of legal and technical requirements. This situation has been identified as one of the major missing items that INSPIRE stakeholders would like to see as part of the Directive's infrastructure.
To create a common approach, ISA Action 1.17 ARE3NA, in collaboration with Member State experts addressing validation issues within INSPIRE´s Maintenance and Implementation Group, undertook a project to develop an online common validator tool for data, metadata, and services; with the ability to download reusable software for deployment in public administrations' own infrastructure.
This work has addressed a range of components for testing data and service resources, from the definition of Abstract Test Suites to user-driven requirements for the system's subsequent implementation. At the same time, the ISA Programme has been developing broader approaches for an Interoperability Test Bed, where work has made some initial comparisons between mainstream IT techniques and standards and those that are being applied to geospatial data.


The tangible results of this project are:

  • Free operational service hosted and maintained by JRC consisting of a web application and an API that allows public administrations to test their INSPIRE data, metadata and servicesonline.
  • A reusable open source reference tool for testing INSPIRE data, metadata and services, contributing to wider interoperability testing relevant to ISA. The source code is available  for public administrations to deploy in their environments from the following links:
  • A repository of Executable Test Suites agreed and maintained by the community, with some resources to help develop new tests. This reference information can also be reused in other information systems.


The reference validator is intended to be used and extended beyond the framework of the INSPIRE Directive.
On 3 July 2017, an online tutorial entitled "Developing Abstract and Executable Test Suites for the INSPIRE validator", was organised to explain the methodology for the development of these test resources, while giving some live demonstrations of the current version of the validator. Outputs include: