Infrastructure for Spatial Information in the European Community

Infrastructure for Spatial Information in the European Community (INSPIRE) is "an EU initiative to establish an infrastructure for spatial information in Europe that is geared to help to make spatial or geographical information more accessible and interoperable for a wide range of purposes supporting sustainable development".[1]

Directive 2007/2/EC
European Union directive
TitleDirective 2007/2/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 March 2007 establishing an Infrastructure for Spatial Information in the European Community (INSPIRE)
Journal referenceL 108/1–14
Came into force15 May 2007
Current legislation

The INSPIRE directive[2] lays down a general framework for a spatial data infrastructure (SDI) for the purposes of European Community environmental policies and policies or activities which may affect the environment. The INSPIRE Directive entered into force on 15 May 2007.

INSPIRE is based on the infrastructures for spatial information established and operated by the member states of the European Union. The directive addresses 34 spatial data themes[3] needed for environmental applications.

To ensure that the spatial data infrastructures of the member states are compatible and usable in a community and transboundary context, the INSPIRE Directive requires that additional legislation or common Implementing Rules (IR) are adopted for a number of specific areas (metadata, interoperability of spatial data sets and services, network services, data and service sharing and monitoring and reporting). These are published either as Commission Regulations[4] or as Decisions.[5]

The Commission is assisted in the process of adopting such rules by a regulatory committee, INSPIRE Committee, composed of representatives of the member states and chaired by a representative of the Commission (this is known as the Comitology procedure).[6]


The INSPIRE Directive also envisages the creation of an INSPIRE Geoportal. A prototype INSPIRE Geoportal[7] is being developed at the Joint Research Centre, which allows for discovery and viewing of spatial data sets and services. Its aim is to identify issues related to its implementation and accessing distributed INSPIRE services, to help towards the development of the operational geoportal.


INSPIRE Forum is a Web 2.0 site for the exchange of information on INSPIRE and related initiatives.[8]

Related initiativesEdit

INSPIRE is one of three related initiatives that are the subject of the GIGAS (GEOSS, INSPIRE and GMES an Action in Support) harmonisation project under the auspices of the EU 7th Framework Programme.[9]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ INSPIRE SDIC/LMO Call Preparation Form
  2. ^ INSPIRE directive
  3. ^ INSPIRE 34 spatial data themes
  4. ^ Commission Regulations
  5. ^ Decisions
  6. ^ Comitology
  7. ^ Prototype INSPIRE Geoportal
  8. ^ INSPIRE Forum
  9. ^ "The GIGAS Forum". Archived from the original on 14 August 2009. Retrieved 5 August 2009.

External linksEdit