Recommendation 7

Recommendation 7: Use INSPIRE and SDI models, data and services for delivering cross-sector and cross-border digital public services to citizens, businesses, government and other parties


  • ‘Location’ is a key integrating factor for a lot of public sector data
  • Although INSPIRE was introduced for environmental policy reasons, it contains data themes that are relevant to other policy areas and related public services (e.g. addresses, cadastral parcels, transport networks, protected sites, buildings).
  • It is important to build the INSPIRE ‘critical mass’ to support both known and unknown uses (optimising the benefits of the SDI)
  • INSPIRE publication is a long term consideration involving large numbers of public authorities and individuals. It is essential that the process is organised in a structured and efficient way
  • INSPIRE provides ‘authoritative’ data and data models that can be used for public services
  • INSPIRE supports cross-border harmonisation of data making cross-border public services and data portals easier to establish and operate


  • Consult relevant organisational, national and EU experts and resources in publishing and using INSPIRE data – the EU INSPIRE website is a good starting point (
  • Publish newly created or modified INSPIRE data using INSPIRE services and ensure data is discoverable in thematic, national, and EU catalogues and portals
  • Consider all relevant legislation relating to data sharing, including data protection, when seeking to implement a cross-sector or cross-border location enabled service
  • Establish an INSPIRE implementation timetable, taking into account priorities for use of the data as well as the legislative timetable
  • Make use of INSPIRE data where it exists and contribute to the ‘pool’ of INSPIRE data where relevant
  • Consider extensions to INSPIRE if appropriate to the thematic area / services being planned. Refer to the relevant INSPIRE Thematic Working Group(s) and related communities when considering extensions to INSPIRE in order to exploit and share the extensions with EU and National communities and to support the maintenance of INSPIRE
  • Integrate INSPIRE and non-INSPIRE data in discovery portals to establish a “whole government data” approach
  • Re-use best practice tools to publish and use INSPIRE data, e.g. tools for:
    • Metadata creation and publication
    • Portal implementation
    • Data transformation
    • Visualisation
    • Licence creation
    • Data discovery
    • View and download services
  • Use the INSPIRE geoportal to discover and access pan-European INSPIRE data
  • Pilot implementation of INSPIRE based solutions in collaboration with other MS to engage in collective learning, and pave the way for EU wide roll out


  • Lack of understanding of INSPIRE
    • Perceived complexity of INSPIRE and lack of awareness of the benefits
    • Implementing INSPIRE compliant data and metadata requires an effort that is not always perceived. It means changing the way people usually work with their data, involving potential additional effort in duplication, maintenance, sharing, documentation, training and procurement
    • In either case the ROI is unclear
  • Silo thinking, ignoring benefits of wider data sharing, interoperability and reuse
  • Extending INSPIRE can increase complexity in use and maintenance
  • • Poor quality metadata, making data difficult to find and creating problems in deciding on use
  • • Poor quality data in relation to the intended use. Contributing factors may include:
    •  INSPIRE does not require the publication of new data. The intended use of data may require new data
    •  In the early stages of INSPIRE implementation, data does not have to be compliant with the specifications
    •  Data may be lost in transforming to INSPIRE
    •  Cross-border differences may be difficult to reconcile due to different interpretations of the INSPIRE specifications
  • Data may be needed before it is mandated in the INSPIRE regulatory roadmap
  • Data may be mandated in the INSPIRE roadmap but is not seen as a priority by users of the data
  • ‘Quick and dirty’ geodata may be more relevant than ‘authoritative’ geodata

Best Practices:

Further reading:

Nature of documentation: Technical report


Type of document
European Union Public License, Version 1.1 or later (EUPL) 
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