INSPIRE (Infrastructure for spatial information in the European initiative) is an initiative launched, developed and adopted by the European Union on 14 March 2007, in cooperation with Member States and associated countries. 

The purpose of this Directive is to establish the basic rules aimed at implementing spatial information infrastructure in the European Union environmental policies and policies that affect environmental protection.

INSPIRE Directive aims to provide an integrated service for users. This spatial information service should enable users to identify and use of spatial or geographical information from various sources, from the local to the global level, the cross-action, which enable the use of an unlimited number of clients. 

Through this directive, are required to be accessible to the relevant geographic data, creating a basis for gradual implementation of the harmonized spatial structure of the data, with the aim of formulating, implementing, monitoring and evaluating decision-making process at the EU. 

Need directive "INSPIRE" appeared mainly due to the situation of unspecified general situation and regulations concerning spatial data in Europe. 

State of spatial data in Europe was characterized by the following:

  1. Distribution and lack of availability of suitable data,
  2. The lack of harmonization between data in different geographic scales,
  3. Overspending,
  4. Insufficient use of standards (incompatible data, information systems, data distribution and overlapping)
  5. Lack of coordination between administrative levels that are responsible for the creation of geo-spatial data,
  6. Lack of adequate data
  7. Restrictions on the distribution of data (copyright, data access, taxes, etc.).

Above mentioned factors hinder identification, access and use of existing data.
INSPIRE is an interesting model for infrastructure development not only technological, but also common practices and working methods, through cooperation and partnership. 

Spatial data infrastructure through the INSPIRE directive is oriented and follows the principles:

  1. Data should be collected once (from a single source) and maintained at the level where they can become their retention in the most effective,
  2. The combination of spatial data from various European sources must be active and distributed between users and applications,
  3. Information must be collected on a government level and shared among all other levels,
  4. Spatial data necessary for efficient administration, should not be made available, only if their use is limited in size
  5. It is necessary to enable easy access to spatial data available, the assessment of whether they are suitable for use and achieving goals, along with facilities for their purchase and further use,
  6. Geographical data should be easy to understand and interpret as they will be combined in an appropriate manner, allowing visualization in certain contexts, tailored to the user.

Group of spatial data in the context of the directive must be in a digital form, be owned by public authorities in relation to one or several of the topics that are presented in Appendices. Spatial data, defined by the INSPIRE Directive:

  • Appendix I
    1. Coordinate Reference Systems
    2. Geographic Network Systems
    3. Geographical nominations
    4. Counties
    5. Addresses
    6. Cadastral parcels
    7. Transport networks
    8. Hydrography
    9. Protected areas
  • Appendix II
    1. Heights
    2. Cover of the Earth
    3. Orthophoto
    4. Geology
  • Appendix III
    1. Statistical Units
    2. Buildings
    3. Land
    4. Land Use
    5. Human health and safety
    6. Infrastructure government services
    7. Environmental monitoring infrastructure
    8. Production and industrial facilities
    9. Production facilities and Industry
    10. Agricultural facilities and hydro-culture
    11. Population distribution - Demography
    12. Management areas, Zone / restriction / regulation and reporting units
    13. Natural Risk Areas
    14. Atmospheric conditions
    15. Meteorological geographical features
    16. Oceanographic geographical features
    17. Marine Regions
    18. Bio-geographical regions
    19. Habitats and biotopes
    20. Distribution of Species
    21. Energy sources
    22. Mineral Resources

INSPIRE - Directive, rules, data specifications and other documents, can be found in