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Distinct metadata for INSPIRE harmonised datasets?

Dear INSPIRE implementers,

I'd like to receive confirmation about the correctness of the following practice:

after the production of a harmonised dataset starting from a non harmonised source dataset, instead of updating the existing metadata (related to the non harmonised source dataset) providing additional information (e.g. in the Resource abstract, Lineage and Resource Locator fields), it is better to create a new metadata of the harmonised dataset, containing in the Resource Locator url(s) related only to the harmonised dataset (and possibly in the Resource Abstract and/or in the Lineage fields any useful information related to the source dataset).

  • Ilkka RINNE

    Hi Giacomo,

    We have a very similar issue with serving both non-INSPIRE conformant (shapefile) and INSPIRE compliant (GML) data using an Atom Download Service: should there be distinct dataset metadata records for these two? I'm guessing the answer is yes, as the INSPIRE conformance is included in the metadata.

    Luckily both can still be published within the same Atom Download Service, unlike when using WFS, where a separate WFS endpoint is required for each dataset (Download Service TG, TG Requirement 52).

  • Heidi VANPARYS

    By Heidi VANPARYS

    Dear Giacomo

    This topic is discussed in section 4.3 of a recent (October 2017) JRC publication:

    PORTELE, Clemens. Spatial Data on the Web tools and guidance for data providers [online]. 12 October 2017. Joint Research Centre (JRC). Available from:
    From this document:
    If a data provider transforms the information in a dataset to provide a representation that is based on the INSPIRE application schemas and, for example, encodes the data according to the INSPIRE GML application schemas, this data is not a new dataset, it is a new distribution of the existing dataset*.
    The INSPIRE Directive, as well as the Implementing Rules and Technical Guidelines, dis-tinguish whether a dataset is in scope of INSPIRE or not, but publishing an existing da-taset that is in scope of INSPIRE in accordance with the requirements of the Imple-menting Rules and/or Technical Guidelines does not create a new dataset.
    Sometimes the term “INSPIRE dataset” is used (which is not defined by INSPIRE itself). When this is the case, it is typically used in one of the following meanings:
    • for a dataset that is within the scope of INSPIRE;
    • for a new dataset distribution that has been created for INSPIRE.



    In practice, not all data providers seem to follow this practice, but publish the repre-sentation of an existing dataset meeting the INSPIRE interoperability requirements as a new dataset in their catalogues.

    * In other cases, where INSPIRE is used to reorganise the existing datasets of the organisation (for exam-ple, merging information from two original datasets to cover the scope of a data theme as good as possible), that dataset can be considered as a new dataset.

    Personally, I think it makes sense in many cases to provide a new metadata record for an INSPIRE-harmonized dataset. The same national dataset may have to be transformed to several different data models and frameworks to meet different requirements, e.g. national requirements, INSPIRE-requirements, military requirements,etc. Those datasets have different models, scopes, etc. so I think that different metadata records are often justified.