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INSPIRE Community Forum

Administrative borders and inland waters

Mart Randmäe
By Mart Randmäe

In Estonia we are currently representing administrative hierarchy in 3 levels of administrative units and these 3 levels cover only the land part of the Estonian jurisdictional territory. That because we do not have legally valid administrative units that would cover maritime zones and inland waters. The maritime jurisdictional territory is currently represented with 3 maritime zones, but we do not have a good solution for representing all of our lakes and rivers that are as “internal waters” for INSPIRE directive. The problem is based on our laws where the Estonian State Borders Act does not define all our lakes and rivers as internal/inland waters, because we have also a definition of a “transboundary water” that is a river, lake or artificial water body along which the state border runs. It means that we cannot represent lake Peipsi and Narva river as internal waters and that leaves gaps into our administrative hierarchy layers. To cover all the Estonian jurisdictional territory with administrative hierarchy we thought that the best practice would be to show 1st level administrative unit as a one whole unite of the Estonian jurisdictional territory (similarly to EuroBoundaryMap where’s 1st level administrative hierarchy is believed to be most probably administered directly by the national government and not belonging to units on 2ndOrder or below). It would cover the need to represent the whole member state territory with administrative hierarchy so it do not have any gaps in it. But it brings data overlapping issue in sea area. Is it OK?

2nd and 3rd levels would show only the land part administrative units as they are represented right now in Estonia. Current administrative unit implementation is available through Estonian geoportal page.


Questions: Does anyone else have similar problems with covering the whole national territory with administrative hierarchy? How did you resolved it?

How other member states have covered their inland waters (lakes and rivers) if they do not have legally valid administrative hierarchy that could cover the whole jurisdictional territory?