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Infrastructure for Spatial Information in Europe


Proposed action for MIWP 2016-2020: Core Spatial Data



Document for discussion & endorsement




15/11/2018 / DRAFT






Draft action mandate for a new action under the MIWP 2016-2020 to follow up on the cross-cutting core spatial data needs for sectorial use cases (transport spatial data for multi-modal journey planning, EU Regional Policy spatial data needs, Copernicus spatial data needs …) as presented by the Commission in the 8th meeting of the MIG and to develop and implement a roadmap for a list of core spatial data sets.


The members of the MIG are invited to:

  • Take note of the document and discuss it at the 9 th meeting of the MIG;
  • Endorse the document at the MIG meeting as a core MIWP action for 2019.

MIWP 2019.3: List of Core Spatial Data Sets


List of core spatial data sets






  In Progress



The implementation of the Directive establishing an Infrastructure for Spatial Information in Europe (INSPIRE, Directive 2007/2/EC) has moved into its decisive phase. To the date of today there are no easily available pan-European information products within the INSPIRE infrastructure that facilitate EU-level use cases. This impedes the pick-up of the infrastructure at EU-level and beyond the INSPIRE community. The lack of available and/or easy to use products also impacts the availability of end-user applications that satisfy the information needs of users and offer a low-threshold access for a larger public to this European spatial data infrastructure.

As a first priority use case the Commisison has selected monitoring and reporting under the environmental acquis and developed a priority list of environmental data sets together with the Member States. This list is managed and implemented through MIWP action 2016.5 and its subgroup. 

Based on identified spatial information requirements within the European institutions, the Commission has selected core spatial data needs for sectorial use cases (transport spatial data for multi-modal journey planning, EU Regional Policy spatial data needs, Copernicus spatial data needs …) as a second priority use case for the development of pan-European information products based on themes under Annex 1 and 2 of the INSPIRE Directive. The note on “Priority Geospatial Datasets for the European Commission” [1] prepared by several Commission services, will be used to draft a priority list of core spatial data sets . The use of the national spatial data infrastructures to streamline core spatial data should induce better integrated public eGovernment services and and maximize the reuse of the spatial information and services.

The list should provide guidance to MS on consistent mapping of data to INSPIRE spatial objects. This consistent mapping is essential for the development of pan-European data sets.

Proposed action

Member states

  • Short term: make data available per core data theme as is in the INSPIRE geoportal through INSPIRE Geoportal/Services (Metadata, View and Download services) to achieve full European coverage. (2019)
  • Medium term: make data available per theme according to INSPIRE Data Specifications through INSPIRE Geoportal/Services (Metadata, View and Download services) at full European coverage (2020).
  • Long term: make data available enhanced according to the UN-GGIM Europe core specifications (end of 2021).

European Commission Services

  • Short term: The Commission provides an INSPIRE thematic viewer for the core reference datasets to support monitoring and access (2018).
  • Medium term: The Commission monitors the progress of INSPIRE implementation for the core reference datasets by compiling pan European data sets according to agreed Commisison methodology in line with the relevant INSPIRE Data Specifications in collaboration with Member States or other relevant stakeholders (annually as of 2019).
  • Long term: As of 2021 the Commission will monitor the progress of delivery of pan European data sets according to the UNGGIM Europe core data specifications.

Links & dependencies


  • UN-GGIM Europe core data initiative.
  • MIWP Action 2019.2 – Simplifying data-service linking.


  • MIWP Action 2016.5 – List of priority eReporting data sets

Organisational set-up

This activity will be carried out as a close collaboration between EC institutions and MIG members.

A dedicated MIG temporary sub-group (consisting of experts from countries and EU institutions) coordinated and supported jointly by JRC and ESTAT is suggested.


DG JRC leads and defines the target areas and the detailed roadmap in collaboration with DG ENV, ESTAT, EEA and other Commission services.


The scope of the action that falls under "Working area 2: End user applications" is to develop further a list of core spatial data and support MSs with making these datasets accessible through the European Spatial Data Infrastructure in a step wise manner. In the scope is also support for transforming/mapping core spatial data sets to INSPIRE (and by extension UN-GGIM core) data specifications and compiling pan European datasets according to the agreed methodology.


  • Develop the list of core spatial data sets.
  • Document the core spatial data sets in metadata.
  • Make those datasets as-is accessible through the European Spatial Data Infrastructure following an agreed prioritisation.
  • Monitor the provision of data sets.
  • Develop and test a methodology for compiling MS datasets to pan Eurpoean ones. 
  • Provide recommendations for streamlining and better INSPIRE compliancy



  • A list of core data sets available on an online collaboration platform.
  • Identified data sets are discoverable (metadata, discovery service) and accessible (view, download)  “as is” through INSPIRE network services
  • Clear communication to MS of Commission spatial information priorities and expectations in support of cross-cutting initiatives;
  • Guidance on consistent mapping of core spatial data to INSPIRE spatial objects and relevant application schemas (e.g. UN-GGIM core data specs);
  • Improved governance for:
    • incrementally building comparable INSPIRE maturity across MS for all INSPIRE components (metadata, services, interoperability, data sharing) based on a common setting,
    • tangible and usable INSPIRE deliverables
    • monitoring progress on INSPIRE implementation in general and for the availability of core spatial data in specific
  • Techncail documentation of the Methodology for creating pan Euroepan datasets from INSPIRE infrastructure.
  • promote the reuse of the INSPIRE infrastructure.

The prioritised list of core data sets does not change the existing legal provisions or deadlines of the INSPIRE Directive. It aims at coordinating MS INSPIRE implementation efforts towards deliverables that serve an existing and priority EC use case and end-use.

Proposed Impact

  Technical Adjustment / Bug Fixing

  Technical Improvement / Development

  Practical Support for Implementing Process

  Cost Reducing Effect for Implementing Process

  Direct Support on Policy-Making / - Activities


Date of Kick-off: January 2019

Every year the process to identify, analyse and implement a set of core spatial data is reviewed in collaboration between EU institutions and Member States.

Required human resources and expertise

MS and Commission (spatial) data experts in the relevant fields supported by the core data sets (Mobility, Energy, Smart Cities …).

Required financial resources and possible funding

Funding by DG ENV through the Administrative Arrangement with the JRC.

Additional financial resources may be needed for re-imbursement of experts for face-to-face workshops and/or feasibility studies, cost / benefit evaluation regarding the proposal for streamlining and if needed support to the conceptual mapping or its review.

Explore additional funding by horizontal funding instruments (ISA², Life …).

Risk factors

Overall risk level of the action




Risk factors to be considered

  Missing Resources

  High Complexity

  Interdependencies with other Actions 

Others:  n/a