INSPIRE Data Specification AD v3.0.1

The INSPIRE Directive (2007/2/EC, 14.03.2007) defines the spatial data theme Addresses as the: “Location of properties based on address identifiers, usually by road name, house number, postal code.”

This data specification on Addresses provides the basis for the development of the part of the Implementing Rules related to the spatial data theme Addresses. The entire data specification will be published as implementation guidelines accompanying the Implementing Rule on the Interoperability of Spatial Data Sets and Services according to Article 7 of the INSPIRE Directive.



The purpose of this document is to specify a harmonised data specification for the spatial data theme Addresses as defined in the INSPIRE Directive.

The data specification for Addresses is required to facilitate the interoperability of address information from across member states. This is necessary to improve policy formulation through better reporting and aid management of pan European initiatives, such as in emergency planning, where the address fulfils either a mail delivery or searching function. Member States will be required to deliver the address data in conformance with the specification when requested by the EU.

However, it is not intended by the INSPIRE Directive to harmonize the maintenance of address information in central registers. This has to be solved by the MS individually.

Address reference data not only provide data and information in its own right, but also has the useful property that it can be used to link and join information from other data sets and as such has a number of other significant roles beyond the original societal reasons for compiling an address reference data set.


The data specification has been prepared by the Thematic Working Group on Addresses (TWG AD), a multinational team of experts in the field drawn from different parts of the European Union. Their brief has been to create a data specification which requires no additional data capture by the European Union member states (Member States) and in this way it is designed to minimise the effort required to supply conformant spatial data.


Long description

An address is an identification of the fixed location of a property. The full address is a hierarchy consisting of components such as geographic names, with an increasing level of detail, e.g. town, then street name, then house number or name. It may also include a post code or other postal descriptors.


The address may include a path of access but this depends on the function of the address.

Addresses serve several generic purposes, these include:


  1. Location (e.g. for visits or the delivery of mail);
  2. Identification (e.g. in context of a building registration);
  3. Jurisdiction (e.g. authority responsible for the property identified by the address);
  4. Sorting and ordering;
  5. Emergency response.

A number of different object types can be related to property. The most commonly recognised types that have addresses are land parcels and buildings (including flats or apartments). In some countries additional objects have an address, such as street furniture, water pumping stations, mooring places, parking lots and agricultural barns. Although they do not receive post they may need to have an address for other functions. This is true in both rural and urban areas.

Known implementations

The whole known implementation of Inspire is available at:

History / Key milestones

The Directive 2007/2/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council adopted on 14 March 2007 aims at establishing an Infrastructure for Spatial Information in the European Community (INSPIRE) for environmental policies, or policies and activities that have an impact on the environment.


Representation technique
Human Language