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Connection between SD and external references


I want implement a SD for a big dataset of species. I tried to link external references both O&M and DwC triple as describe in the paragraph of D2.8.III.19 Data Specification. In the schema I didn't found any elements that match with this issue.

Someone can help me?

King regards


  • Iurie MAXIM

    Hi Alessandro,

    If looking at the XML schemas on inspire website ( it can be noticed that there are two categories of schemas, namely:

    "- endorsed schemas for data models included in the Implementing Rules
    - draft schemas for extended data models included in the Technical Guidelines"

    Most valid implementation (if even not all) are based on the endorsed schemas. If anyone knows about any implementation made based on the "draft schemas for extended data models" it would be good to share this information in this thread.

    As section 5.4 is about extended schema, I think that "endorsed schemas" is not the place to look for, but "draft schemas for extended data models" must be taken into consideration (located at There it exist as well the sdfc XSD schema (

    I think that this is the schema refered in sextion 5.4, isnt't it?

    However I am not sure if the future validation from EC will validate as well against the draft schemas, or only against the endorsed schemas, so maybe someone can provide more details about these so called "draft schemas for extended data models".

    My understanding is that data providers from Member States have no obligation to provide the data according to these draft schemas, but have obligation to provide the data according to the endorsed schemas.

    Legaly speaking, my understanding is that if data providers chose to provide a dataset according to the "draft schemas for extended data modeld" they are obliged as well to provide the same dataset according to the "endorsed schemas", as these schemas are according to the implementing rules (Decisions of the EC) that are legal acts that do not need any transposition and they are part of the national legislation of each Member State by default.

    If anyone can provide more information on this topic of draft schemas, it would be good for everybody to understand.

    Best regards,
    Iurie Maxim

  • Alessandro OGGIONI

    By Alessandro OGGIONI

    Dear Iurie,

    First of all thanks a lot for you answer and for clarify the difference between two schemas.

    I tried to generate, by XML editor, SpeciesDistributionUnit but I have unable to generate what is written in paragraph 5.4. In particular I didn't found the occurrenceRecordIdentifier class. Only into sd:spatialObject, the SpeciesDistributionFC.xsd schema allows you to generate ef:EnvironmentalMonitoringFacility or om:OM_Observation as a sub-element.

    Any other suggestions or hypothesis?


    Alessandro Oggioni


  • Stefania MORRONE

    By Stefania MORRONE

    Hi Alessandro and Iurie,

    first of all, let me confirm what Iurie said " Member States have no obligation to provide the data according to draft schemas, but have obligation to provide the data according to the endorsed schemas". 

    That said, the "sd:spatialObject" field in the core (i.e. 'endorsed') schema can be used to provide the link to any spatial object , therefore even to an 'ef:EnvironmentalMonitoringFacility' spatial object (you can choose even how to provide, I mean as external link -i.e.'href'-  or internal description). 

    Therefore, in practice, the link to observation data can be done also by means of the "sd:spatialObject".


    Hope this helps



  • Stefania MORRONE

    By Stefania MORRONE

    Relating to the 'occurrenceRecordIdentifier' field, there's an inconsistency between the UML of the extended schema (which foresees the 'occurrenceRecordIdentifier' field) and the xsd available in the draft repository, which does not contain such an element. 

    That said, taking into consideration the UML diagram of the SD extended schema in the DS, you should not use the 'occurrenceRecordIdentifier' field to provide the link to the observation data, but the "observations" association - i.e.  from the xsd point of view, the "observations" field.

    But also such an  "observations" field does not exist in the draft schema SpeciesDistribution.xsd currently available in the repository !

    Should you be interested on how to extend an INSPIRE schema, please consider the study on Data Specification Extension, commissioned by Geonovum and supported by the JRC and EEA.




  • Alessandro OGGIONI

    By Alessandro OGGIONI

    Dear Stefania,

    thanks a lot for your support. I start to connect the observations (O&M) using the spatialObject and after I will consider also the hypothesis to extend the schema.


  • Iurie MAXIM

    Hello everybody,

    As far as I still remember the discussions held in the Technical Working Group (TWG) responsible for drafting the Species Distribution Technical Guidelines (SD TG) in which I was part and as far as I do not know how and when the section 5.4 was added in the SD TG (most probably not trough the TWG), I just want to notice that there were a lot of discussions regarding the fact that observations should not be part of the SD Data Model.

    Observations should not be part of the SD Data Model because the INSPIRE Directive ( is defining the Species Distribution in Annex III as following:

    ”Geographical distribution of occurrence of animal and plant species aggregated by grid, region, administrative unit or other analytical unit.”

    The definition in the Directive clearly states that the species distribution is the aggregation of the occurrence data and therefore not the occurrence data itself.  

    Even more at that time we were advised to take into consideration what was written in the D2.3 Definitions of Annex Themes and Scope document (, that is mentioning for Species Distribution Data Theme:

    <<Description: Pan-European, national or local mapping initiatives, resulting in spatial data for species in terrestrial and marine environments, e.g. for birds, insects, mammals, amphibians, reptiles, fish or vascular plants.


    • The definition in INSPIRE Directive proposal does not include individual observations or other point based data, but focuses on aggregated versions of data about geographical distribution of species. Aggregation can be at any level of resolution, e.g. in geographical grid systems divided into 100x100 meter grid or 50x50km grid cells. Possibly also point-based observations and isolines generation between observations should be accepted and included in INSPIRE. Possibly these can be defined as options in the "other analytical unit". Aggregation may also be interpreted not only as space-based aggregation, but time-based aggregation as well. >>

    @Stefania: thank you for the confirmation. My understanding then is that if INSPIRE would be used for reporting (even if from the text of the Directive is clear that it was not intended to be used for reporting obligations) than the Commission Regulation 1089/2010 must be amended if new elements (attributes) need to be added in the data models. If the reporting obligations would be done only trough the extended schemas (as for example the EEA already developed a strange extended data model for reporting CDDA by extending the PS data model by doubling some existing attributes such as for example the IUCN category) than the data providers from the MS have no obligation to provide those datasets according to those extended data models in the frame of INSPIRE Directive. In any case the use of INSPIRE for covering the reporting obligations of the Member States must be encouraged, but then the Commission Regulation 1089/2010 must be amended trough new regulations and the process of updating must be fast enough in order to be inline with the changes in the reporting that sometimes occurs each year. Any comments would be appreciated.

    Best regards,

    Iurie Maxim

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