Spatial Data Infrastructures and the INSPIRE Directive


The wider use of information created by Geographic Information Systems (GIS) has long been held back by difficulties in sharing data between different technologies, different organisations and even between different functions within the same organisation. Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) is a broad term for systems that are designed to enable collaboration and wider sharing of spatial data. The development of interoperability standards - notably from the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC), ISO and W3C – is driving a new generation SDIs that enable data to be discovered and used seamlessly and without being tied to one or other GIS product.

INSPIRE Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI)The current interoperability capabilities are reflected in the European Unions’ (EU) initiative to create a regional SDI – INSPIRE.  INSPIRE sets out a framework and timetable that will oblige public sector organisations to publish key spatial data sets in ways that support the discovery of the data and provide access to these resources via product-neutral visualisation and downloading services. The first themes that are required to be published include gazetteers, transport, property, hydrology (listed as hydrography) and environmental areas.

Implementing INSPIRE - There is no Substitute for Experience

INSPIRE is more than software, it is a significant project undertaking and also an opportunity to improve the accessibility and utility of your organisation's existing spatial data holdings. As well as a facilitating data sharing between GIS users, your SDI investment can enable simple, agile and sustainable integration of spatial information with other business systems and processes. Intergraph has acquired extensive domain expertise through our participation in many of the leading EU research projects and national and regional SDI implementations across Europe and around the world, including the United Nations SDI, Canadian Geospatial Data Infrastructure and the US National SDI.

National and Regional SDI Implementations

Dutch Kadaster – Intergraph solutions support the European Union’s goal of integrating diverse geospatial data.

IACS for Paying Agency, Ministry of Agriculture and Food, Bulgaria – Intergraph partner Datecs supports Bulgarian Agriculture with online geospatial IACS solution.

Czech Land Survey Office Teams with Intergraph to Provide Easy Access to Geospatial Data – The Czech Land Survey Office teamed with Intergraph to develop a Web portal that provides mapping services and nationwide geospatial data to government agencies, commercial businesses, and the public.

Italy’s Veneto Region Centralises Data with Intergraph SDI Solution – Regione del Veneto needed a new technology system that could support internal activities of many regional departments and make it easy to share vast amounts of data. It expanded its use of Intergraph software to implement an SDI solution that enables data sharing via the region’s intranet. The system also conforms to standards such as Infrastructure for Spatial Information in Europe (INSPIRE).

EU INSPIRE Project Experience

Through participation in leading EU projects, from environmental protection to national
resilience, Intergraph is helping define the future of geospatial information use in Europe.

  • ESS will research and development a portable emergency command and control system that incorporates real-time data collection technologies.
  • EURADIN (EURopean Addresses INfrastructure) aims to promote European address harmonisation in respect of the definition, registration and access to European address data.
  • CAFE. The project aims to develop a prototype tool for reporting and exchanging air quality data in accordance with the EU Clean Air For Europe (CAFE) directive.
  • GIS4EU aims to increase the interoperability and accessibility of geospatial data by providing pan-European base datasets (administration units, hydrography, transportation networks and elevation themes) that are compatible with respect to scales, language and geographic borders.
  • Humboldt. One of the most important EU projects, its main objective is to enable organisations to document, publish and harmonise their spatial information.
  • Through state-of-the-art methodologies and best practice examples, NatureSDIplus aims to improve harmonisation of national datasets and to make them more accessible and exploitable.
  • eSDI-NET+ is a thematic network aimed at identifying and promoting best practices on SDI through cross border dialogue and exchange throughout Europe.
ight Hand Column
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