About GeoDCAT Application Profile for data portals in Europe

GeoDCAT-AP is an extension of DCAT-AP for describing geospatial datasets, dataset series and services. It provides an RDF syntax binding for the union of metadata elements defined in the core profile of ISO 19115:2003 and those defined in the framework of the INSPIRE Directive. Its basic use case is to make spatial datasets, data series and services searchable on general data portals, thereby making geospatial information better searchable across borders and sectors. This can be achieved by the exchange of descriptions of data sets among data portals.

1. What are the benefits of using GeoDCAT-AP?

GeoDCAT-AP enables a cross-domain data portal search for datasets, as documented in the DCAT-AP specification. GeoDCAT-AP makes it easier to share descriptions of spatial datasets between spatial data portals and general data portals, and thus helps increase public and cross-sector access to such datasets.

The following datasets can be covered by GeoDCAT-AP:

  • Datasets on the INSPIRE Geoportal. The INSPIRE Geoportal aggregates metadata for over 100k datasets across Europe. It provides the means to search for spatial data sets and spatial data services, and subject to access restrictions, to view spatial data sets from the EU Member States within the framework of the INSPIRE Directive. The metadata stored on this portal is structured according to the INSPIRE Metadata Technical Guidelines [INSPIRE-MD-TG]. In order to maximise visibility and re-use, spatial datasets could also be listed on general-purpose Open Data Portals, such as the European Union Open Data Portal (EU ODP) and the European Data Portal (EDP).
  • Datasets on national SDIs. GeoDCAT-AP facilitates the integration of SDIs operated by EU Member States with any data catalogue able to consume DCAT-AP-compliant metadata.
  • General geospatial datasets. The geospatial community shares a common background and makes consistent use of consolidated standards and technologies. In particular, as far as metadata are concerned, it is widespread to use standards like ISO 19115 / 19139, for the representation and encoding of metadata, and OGC’s CSW (Catalog Service for the Web) for accessing and querying metadata records. The INSPIRE Directive is also recommending the use of these standards.

2. Who initiated this work?

The GeoDCAT Application profile is a joint initiative of

  • The GeoDCAT-AP Working Group;
  • the Directorate-General for Informatics: DG DIGIT – in particular the SEMIC action of the ISA² programme;
  • the Joint Research Centre: JRC;
  • the Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content & Technology: DG CONNECT; and
  • the Publications Office of the EU.

3. How is GeoDCAT-AP maintained?

The GeoDCAT Application profile is maintained based on the Change and Release Management Policy for DCAT-AP.
As all changes in the specification are communicated to and discussed with the stakeholders (ISA² Committee, ISA² Programme Management Team, the Operational Team and the GeoDCAT-AP Working Group) to make sure that changes do not negatively impact the operation of implementations and the interoperability across the network of data portals.
Moreover, in cases where major changes are considered, the GeoDCAT-AP Working Group is the platform where stakeholders come together to discuss and reach consensus on these changes.

4. GeoDCAT-AP key milestones

  • In December 2015 the GeoDCAT-AP version 1.0 was released.
  • In March 2015 the ISA Programme of the European Commission started working on a GeoDCAT-AP extension.

5. Get started

Download GeoDCAT-AP latest and previous releases.

Discover the technical documentation of GeoDCAT-AP on Joinup.

The Change and Release Management Policy for DCAT-AP is available here.

6. Get involved!

Do you want to participate in the work of our GeoDCAT-AP Working Group? Share your comments and change requests via the GitHub GeoDCAT-AP repository.

7. Any questions? 

Contact the SEMIC team.

8. About SEMIC

Visit the SEMIC collection on Joinup or check out SEMIC page on the ISA² website.


Owner/Contact Information

European Commission
Supra-national authority
Contact information
SEMIC team


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