What is INSPIRE?

INfrastructure for Spatial InfoRmation in Europe – INSPIRE

The European Union has launched an ambitious project aiming at building a common spatial data infrastructure. This infrastructure, commonly called INSPIRE (for INfrastructure of SPatial InfoRmation in Europe), essentially targets data that has an impact on the environment. On the legal point of view it has been defined in the text of the Richtlinie 2007/2/EG vom 14. März 2007 des Europäischen Parlaments und des Rates vom 14. März 2007 zur Schaffung einer Geodateninfrastruktur in der Europäischen Gemeinschaft (INSPIRE) which entered into force on 15th May 2007 and which has been transposed in national luxemburgish law on 26th July 2010.

The basic idea of INSPIRE is a network of national SDIs created by the Member States. The directive's text specifies in total 34 data themes, arranged in 3 annexes. For every data set, detailed technical documents, called data specifications, have been retained, that specify the structure and data model of the datasets. Other texts, called "implementing rules" describe how the infrastructure has to be realised. The overall aim is to ensure that  the national nodes are fully compatible and usable by the EU bodies, also in regional and trans-border contexts. They concernt the essential parts of the infrastructure, like the metadata (descriptive information on data and services), technical specifications of data and services, or the monitoring and reporting procedure. In the process of adopting the rules, the EU Commission is assisted by an offical committee (comitology process).

The obligations poroduced by this text are numerous and have a strong impact on the national ministries and administrations, who create, detain and update spatial data that has a link with environment themes.

The INSPIRE directive fixes a  strict agenda accordingly to which the member States have to

  • annually inform the European Commission about the existence of geodata that might enter the scope of the directive
  • to create, update and provide the metadata sets about the geodata sets and services
  • to set up and maintain a national infrastructure capable of delivering this information to national and european actors
  • to create, prepare, update and modify the geodata sets, series and services according to the themes in the annexes

In Luxemburg, Governement has decided in its session of 25 July 2008 to have a national geodata infrastructure (infrastructure nationale luxembourgeoise de données géographiques -ILDG) created, and has trusted the administration du cadastre et de la topographie (ACT) with the technical realisation of this infrastructure on the basis of the already existing geoportal. At the same time, it was decided to create a steering committee of the ILDG, called comité de coordination de l’ILDG (CC-ILDG), and led by a leading ACT official. At ACT a new department was created, to manage and further develop the geoportal with all its applications, assist the other partners of ILDG in their geodata projects, to create and manipulate geodata, to follow INSPIRE and  the general technology evolution.

A member of the geoportal department is the national contact point for the EU Commission in INSPIRE matters.

All the national publications in the context of INSPIRE are made in a dedicated part of the geoportal, which only exists in English: Luxemburg's INSPIRE Portal

In this sub-portal, all the data as well as the metadata sets, that on national level have been declared as being par tof INSPIRE, can be found.