Earlier versions of this training module have been developed within the VESTA-GIS project in 2009 (, the Nature-SDIPlus project in 2010 ( and within the Educational Services Programme (EduServ) of EuroSDR in 2010 and 2011 (
Author: Danny Vandenbroucke, KU Leuven. The material is provided under Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike License (

The INSPIRE initiative was initiated by the European Commission in 2001 to enhance the sharing of harmonized spatial data and services between public authorities in order to assist environmental policy-making and activities that may have a direct or indirect impact on the environment. The INSPIRE Directive entered into force in May 2007. Member States transposed the Directive into national legislation and started to implement INSPIRE components: setting-up a coordinating structure, harmonizing spatial data, developing network services to access the data, maintaining metadata for spatial data & services, and putting in place measures to improve data & service sharing.

This module deals with the main elements of the INSPIRE Directive: its context and background, the scope and major chapters of the Directive, an overview of the related implementing rules, the conformity of spatial data and services, and the potential for new innovative solutions based on INSPIRE. The module also pays attention to the relationship between INSPIRE and other Directives such as the Directive 2003/98/EC on the re-use of public sector information (PSI) and Directive 2003/4/EC on public access to environmental information. The training material consist of presentations, supporting documents and a weblecture. The module is a self-learning module.


This seminar contains the following parts:

  1. The use of geographic information in work processes and policy making: key challenges
  2. Spatial Data Infrastructures to facilitate access and sharing of data
  3. Overview of the INSPIRE Directive
  4. The Implementing Rules
  5. The conformity of data and services
  6. Trends, challenges and opportunities
Learning outcomes

After the training offer, the participant will be able to summarize the major challenges for spatial data access and sharing; to understand and explain the concepts and main components of a Spatial Data Infrastructure; to define and summarise the main chapters of the INSPIRE Directive; to recognise and classify who is who in INSPIRE and its most important stakeholders; to define and discuss the different Implementing rules (metadata, data specifications, network services, data and service sharing, monitoring and reporting) and technical guidelines; to list and illustrate the most advanced SDIs in Europe and best practices; and to describe and discuss the major opportunities for different sectors to contribute to the development, maintenance and exploitation of INSPIRE.

Intended Audience
This seminar aims at professionals seeking for an overview of the INSPIRE initiative (e.g. managers of SME’s and public bodies). Also unemployed people seeking new job opportunities.
No pre-requisites are required for this module.
PDF documents, presentations, Weblecture. The module is a self-learning module.
Expected workload
Expected workload is 4 hours.