INSPIRE Knowledge Base


German Environmental Information Portal (previously Steering Committee UDK/GEIN)
Mission and Objectives: 
Jointly develop and manage a national metainformation and brokering system for the access to and distribution of publicly-held environmental data and information, both on the level of the German federal states (Länder) and the German federal government (Bund).
Formal Mandate: 
National Government
PortalU is financed and mandated by an administrative agreement (Verwaltungsvereinbarung) between the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Länder, represented by the respective environment ministries. A Steering Committee PortalU (LA PortalU) controls the Coordination Center PortalU (KST), which functions as the executive body of the cooperation.
The main activities within the PortalU project consist in the conceptualization and implementation of a national metadata infrastructure and metainformation system for environmental data and information. Through it's excecutive body, the KST, the Steering Committee contributes to the development of metadata specifications for the environmental field, the alignment of these specifications with metadata standards for geospatial data, and the integration of the metainformation system into the national German SDI (GDI-DE).
1. Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (Bundesministerium für Umwelt, Naturschutz und Reaktorsicherheit) 2. Ministry for the Environment and Transportation of Baden-Württemberg (Ministerium für Umwelt und Verkehr Baden-Württemberg) 3. Bavarian State Ministry for Health, Food and Consumer Protection (Bayer. Staatsministerium für Gesundheit, Ernährung und Verbraucherschutz) 4. Senate Department of Urban Development in Berlin (Senatsverwaltung für Stadtentwicklung des Landes Berlin) 5. Ministry for Agriculture, Nature Conservation and Regional Development of Brandenburg (Ministerium für Landwirtschaft, Umweltschutz und Raumordnung des Landes Brandenburg) 6. Bremen Senator for Construction, Environment and Transportation (Senator für Bau, Umwelt und Verkehr der Freien und Hansestadt Bremen) 7. Hamburg Authority for Environment and Health (Behörde für Umwelt und Gesundheit der Freie und Hansestadt Hamburg) 8. Hessian Ministry for the Environment, Agriculture and Forestry (Hessisches Ministerium für Umwelt, Landwirtschaft und Forsten) 9. Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania Ministry of Environment (Umweltministerium Mecklenburg-Vorpommern) 10. Lower Saxony Ministry of Environment (Niedersächsisches Umweltministerium) 11. Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Agriculture and Consumer Protection of Northrhine-Westfalia (Ministerium für Umwelt und Naturschutz, Landwirtschaft und Verbraucherschutz des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen) 12. Ministry for the Environment and Forestry of Rhineland Palatinate (Ministerium für Umwelt und Forsten des Landes Rheinland-Pfalz) 13. Ministry for the Environment of Saar (Ministerium für Umwelt des Saarlandes) 14. Saxonian State Ministry for the Environment and Agriculture (Sächsische Staatsministerium für Umwelt und Landwirtschaft) 15. Saxony-Anhalt Ministry of Agriculture and Environment (Ministerium für Landwirtschaft und Umwelt des Landes Sachsen-Anhalt) 16. Schleswig-Holstein Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Agriculture (Ministerium für Umwelt, Natur und Landwirtschaft des Landes Schleswig-Holstein) 17. Thuringian Ministry for Agriculture, Nature Conservation and the Environment (Thüringer Ministerium für Landwirtschaft, Naturschutz und Umwelt)
Through the member organizations listed above, the proposed SDIC represents all governmental holders of environmental information in Germany. The activities of the SDIC have in the past been very successful in establishing metadata specifications and a functioning technical information infrastructure for the environmental sector on a national level. The UDK metadata specifications have become a quasi-standard for environmental metadata in Germany and other german-speaking countries (i.e. Austria).

Which role(s) do you foresee for the SDIC in INSPIRE development

  • submit reference material as input to the Drafting Teams
  • yes
  • allocate experts to Drafting Teams
  • yes
  • participate in the review process
  • yes
  • contribute to awareness raising and training
  • yes
    Geographic Domain
    Territory of the Federal Republic of Germany
    Societal Sector
    Central and regional government
    Specific Expertise
    Previous Experience relevant for INSPIRE development
    PortalU, which is the result of a cooperation of the 16 federal states and the federal government in Germany, successfully developed and implemented a national information infrastructure for environmental data and information. This involved the implementation of the necessary software tools (UDK, gein, InGrid), metadata specifications, and technical infrastructure as well as a sustainable organizational framework that ensures the outstanding role and long-term operation of these tools within the German environmental administration. In this process, many problems related to the German federal system and the necessity to integrate numerous distributed and heterogeneous data sources could be solved. Experience could be gathered in particular in the fields of information-network design (technically as well as organizationally), metadata integration, and data interoperability.
    Environmental application domains
    All environmental application domains that fall under the responsibility of governmental environment agencies
    Primary Business
    Environmental management, information management