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Goals and content of the directive

The goal of INSPIRE is to create a European Spatial Data Infrastructure to support environmental policy-making. The directive contains guidelines for geodata management and organisational structures.


  • Support of the European environmental policy-making, especially the sixth environment action programme
  • Provide guidelines for the availability, quality, organisation, accessibility, and joined usage of geodata
  • Implementation of a European infrastructure on the basis of national spatial data infrastructures
  • Coordination by suitable structures


  • Chapter I: General Provisions
    The chapter provides definitions of terms and information about the coverage of the directive. E.g. it only covers geodata, which are in electronic form and which relate to one or more of the themes listed in Annex I, II, or III.
  • Chapter II: Metadata
    Metadata have to be generated for all themes in Annex I, II, and III.
  • Chapter III: Interoperability of spatial data sets and services
    This chapter provides guidelines for the generation of Implementing Rules and a timetable for the adoption of the implementing rules.
  • Chapter IV: Network Services
    All services are described, which have to be provided for the spatial data infrastructure. They cover discovery services, view services, download services, transformation services and services allowing spatial data services to be invoked. In addition, it is said that the Commission shall establish and operate an INSPIRE geo-portal at Community level to provide access to the spatial data services.
  • Chapter V: Data-Sharing
    This chapter covers the legal guidelines for data sharing between member states and the Commission.
  • Chapter VI: Coordination and Complementary Issues
    The chapter contains guidelines for the establishment of suitable coordination structures.
  • Annex I: Themes
    Coordinate reference systems, geographical grid systems, geographical names, administrative units, addresses, cadastral parcels, transport networks, hydrography, protected sites
  • Annex II: Themes
    Elevation, land cover, orthoimagery, geology
  • Annex III: Themes
    Statistical units, buildings, soil, land use, human health and safety, utility and governmental services, environmental monitoring facilities, production and industrial facilities, agricultural and aquaculture facilities, population distribution – demography, area management/restriction/regulation zones and reporting units, natural risk zones, atmospheric conditions, meteorological geographical features, oceanographic geographical features, sea regions, bio-geographical regions, habitats and biotopes, species distribution, energy resources, mineral resources
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