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INSPIRE Community Forum

Re-using INSPIRE as reference data for Copernicus users

In the framework of the CORDA (Copernicus Reference Data Access) project of the European Environment Agency (, the INSPIRE infrastructure (metadata, data and services) is being re-used to create HY and BU pan-European datasets as reference data for Copernicus and in particular CEMS (Copernicus Emergency Management Service) users.

Below the main steps of the process:

  1. Definition of ‘simplified’ data models, customising INSPIRE HY and BU for the specific CEMS user requirements i.e. taking into consideration a sub-set of the attributes of the relevant INSPIRE core data models (hydro physical waters and building 2D).
  2. Analysis of the resources discoverable in the INSPIRE Geoportal to identify ‘candidate’ datasets i.e. data eligible to be components of the pan European datasets. To this end, a set of specific criteria is being used: national or geographical coverage, dataset content in-scope with the CORDA purposes, presence of the required attributes and availability of download services.
  3. Ingestion of selected datasets in a PostGIS database via ETL processes (same ETL for all the INSPIRE conformant datasets and custom ETLs for non conformant to INSPIRE - but at least semantically equivalent - datasets).
  4. Setup of pre-defined dataset download services allowing access to the data in different formats and encodings - e.g. DB dumps, shapefiles, GeoPackage files - and direct access download services (WFS).
  5. Creation of the metadata for the datasets and the services and publication of these metadata in the CORDA catalogue.
  6. Procedures to monitor the availability of new/updated national/regional datasets to be added/replaced in the pan-European datasets.

It is evident how much the overall process above described can become more efficient when the full implementation of INSPIRE by all Member States will take place.

The current production status of the Watercourse multi-country dataset is shown in the following figure.