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Join the INSPIRE Mailing list.


INSPIRE (Infrastructure for Spatial Information in Europe) is an initiative launched by the European Commission and developed in collaboration with the EU Member States and accession countries. It aims at making available relevant, harmonized and qualitative geographic information in the domain of environmental applications to support formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of Community policies with a territorial dimension or impact. INSPIRE intends to trigger the creation of a European spatial data infrastructure (SDI) that delivers to the users integrated spatial information services linked to common standards and protocols. The INSPIRE Directive came into force on 15 May 2007 and will be implemented in various stages, with full implementation required by 2021.

The INSPIRE geoportal 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.[1]


Datasets in scope of INSPIRE are ones which come under one or more of INSPIRE themes.[2] The INSPIRE Directive defines 34 spatial data themes needed for environmental applications, grouped in 3 Annexes. The themes and links to more information are listed on the INSPIRE website

The INSPIRE Components

According to the INSPIRE Directive, View and Download services should be set up for the data which is within scope and metadata should be provided. Furthermore, data needs to comply with the INSPIRE data schemes and monitoring, testing and validation of the data, metadata and services should be executed.

There are thus five INSPIRE major components:

  1. Network Services.
    • View Services. Digital maps served through WMS 1.3 / ISO 19128. This makes it possible, as a minimum, to display, navigate, zoom in/out, pan, or overlay viewable spatial data sets and to display legend information;
    • Download Services. Digital data served through WFS 2.0 / ISO 19142 or download packages This enables copies of spatial data sets, or parts of such sets, to be downloaded and, where practicable, accessed directly;
    • Discovery Services. Catalog Services making it possible to search for spatial data sets and services on the basis of the content of the corresponding metadata and to display the content of the metadata
    • Transformation Services.
  2. Metadata.
  3. Data Specification. The harmonization of data that is needed to enable cross-country data sharing.
  4. Reporting and Monitoring.
  5. Data and Service Sharing. Licenses, copyright, all the fun stuff that prevents us from using data in our software.

A complete set of INSPIRE tools and resources is available in the INSPIRE Toolkit section.

OSGeo's involvement

Many OSGeo projects are already tied into processes and the emerging INSPIRE architecture. A formal meeting of OSGeo representatives with people (from JRC) involved in INSPIRE was planned for the end of 2008 but never happened. In 2010, JRC and OSGeo joined forces to make an Open Source Mash-up at the INSPIRE conference possible. During FOSS4G conferences in 2016 and 2017 topic talks were co-organized by JRC to involve the join together the INSPIRE an OSGeo communities (Topic Talk 'Become INSPIRE'd by OSGeo (FOSS4G 2016), Topic Talk - OSGeo-Live for INSPIRE (FOSS4G 2017))

What is available and what is missing?

How good does Open Source GIS software fit into the INSPIRE picture? Can it be used as a software stack to build INSPIRE SDI's?

The current OSGeoLive applications include Open Source software that is needed to implement the different INSPIRE components. In this regard, providing an INSPIRE-flavoured version of the OSGeoLive environment could be useful to provide European data providers with some of the technological means to help them meet INSPIRE’s legal obligations. This way, both the open source and INSPIRE communities may reinforce each other. As a starting point, the INSPIRE tools inventory wiki page gives an overview of the available OSGeoLive applications useful in the realm of INSPIRE, is given. The tools are grouped according to the INSPIRE-related tasks they support. Furthermore, the applications currently missing to meet the INSPIRE obligations and the on-going projects are also mentioned on theINSPIRE tools inventory page.

Everybody who wants to contribute to this or wants to collaborate on creating an INSPIRE-flavoured OSGeoLive environment is invited to join the INSPIRE Mailing list and keep the INSPIRE tools inventory wiki page updated.

From the data providers' perspective, the INSPIRE data experiments wiki page will describe example use cases that demonstrate the creation of INSPIRE compliant data through OSGeo software.

Background information

Presentations and conferences

Use Cases

See also

OSGeo INSPIRE Initiatives