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INSPIRE Data Specification CP v3.0.1

Published on: 09/07/2020

The INSPIRE Directive focuses on the geographical part of cadastral data. In the INSPIRE context, cadastral parcels will be mainly used as locators for geo-information in general, including environmental data.

As much as possible, in the INSPIRE context, cadastral parcels should be forming a partition of national territory. Cadastral parcel should be considered as a single area of Earth surface (land and/or water), national law under homogeneous property rights and unique ownership, property rights and ownership being defined by national law (adapted from UN ECE 2004 and WG-CPI, 2006).


This INSPIRE data specification covers spatial data sets which relate to an area where a Member State has and/or exercises jurisdictional rights.


Remark: By unique ownership is meant that the ownership is held by one or several joint owners for the whole parcel.

In the definition given by the INSPIRE directive, "or equivalent” refers to all public agencies and institutions other than the main traditional/nominal cadastre or land registry, that register parts of the Earth’s surface such as special domains, urban cadastres, public lands, which spatially complement the registrations by the main cadastre or land registry.


The purpose of this document is to specify a harmonised data specification for the spatial data theme Cadastral Parcels as defined in Annex I of the INSPIRE Directive. It addresses domains such as agriculture, spatial planning, environment, infrastructure and utilities management, public land management, risk management, socio-economic analysis, cartography. In the INSPIRE context, cadastral parcels will be mainly used as locators for geoinformation in general, including environmental data.



INSPIRE data specification on cadastral parcels has been prepared following the participative principle of consensus building process. The stakeholders, based on their registration as a Spatial Data Interest Community (SDIC) or a Legally Mandated Organisation (LMO) had the opportunity to bring forward user requirements and reference materials, propose experts for the specification development, and to participate in the review of the data specifications. The Thematic Working Group responsible for the specification development was composed of experts coming from Denmark, Finland, France, Hungary, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom and the European Commission. The specification process took place according to the methodology elaborated for INSPIRE respecting the requirements and the recommendation of the INSPIRE Generic Conceptual Model, which is one of the elements that ensures coherent approach and cross theme consistency with other themes in the Directive.

The Thematic Working Group has established cooperation with other initiatives within the field, such as the Permanent Committee on Cadastre, EuroGeographics, the Working Group III of FIG (International Federation of Surveyors) and ISO TC 211 responsible for standardisation of geographic information.

Long description

The cornerstone of the specification development was the definition of the Directive on the cadastral parcels: “areas defined by cadastral parcels or equivalent”. In accordance with the particular legal system each Member State runs a related register under the responsibility of the government. Such registers are often called cadastre, sometimes land or other type of registry. Regardless of the name of the system the basic unit of area is the parcel. Cadastral parcels usually form a continuous partition of the national territory by the exception where some land owned by the governments is not subject of registration. The generic definition of cadastral parcels has been complemented by the Thematic

Working Group to fit better with user requirements in the following way: the cadastral parcels should be, as much as possible, single areas of Earth surface (land and/or water) under homogenous real property rights and unique ownership, where real property rights and ownership are defined by national laws.

INSPIRE does not aim at harmonising the concepts of ownership and rights related to the parcels, but focuses on the geometrical aspects as presented in the national systems of the Member States.

Cadastral parcels in INSPIRE should serve the purpose of generic information locators. Having included the reference to the national registers as a property (attribute) of the INSPIRE parcels national data sources can be reached. Using this two-step approach other information, like rights and owners can be accessed fully respecting the national legislation on data protection. The data model for INSPIRE cadastral parcels has been prepared in a way that supports compatibility with the upcoming international standard on Land Administration Domain Model14. The Land Administration Domain Model (LADM) provides a wider context for the INSPIRE cadastral parcels because LADM includes additional information on rights (bound to national legislation) and owners, which are outside the direct scope of INSPIRE.


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