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How in practice do I ensure INSPIRE compliance using the data specifications?

By Sean GAFFNEY Replies (5)


My name is Sean Gaffney from the UK Marine Environmental and Information Network (MEDIN). We are a UK network who aim to be a one-stop-shop for access to UK marine data and best practice on data and metadata. We have a very good understanding of how INSPIRE relates to metadata and have devised a metadata standard based on INSPIRE. We are trying to establish how the INSPIRE Data Specifications relate to us, and could do with some guidance on how they actually work in practice, even if it's just pointers to some websites where it is simply explained?

Many thanks


  • Giacomo MARTIRANO

    By Giacomo MARTIRANO

    Hi Sean.

    Just few links, hopefully useful for you:

    Three short training modules developed in the frame of the EU funded Linkvit project, covering the full cycle of Data Specification implementation:

    The three links above point to a brief description of each module.

    To access the modules (training material consisting of ppt with audio + hands-on exercises) you need to register to the e-learning platform (for free, of course).

    Then, should you be interested in more details about an on-line data validation tool, you may refer to a previous discussion available here

  • Sean GAFFNEY

    Dear Giacomo, 

    Thank you for these. I'll look into them today and hopefully they'll clear things up for me.


  • Jordi ESCRIU

    Dear Sean,

    Just add a more generic comment to the post of Giacomo concerning the assessment of compliance to the data specifications (DS).

    Each DS has an "Abstract Test Suite" annex with the list of conceptual rules to be passed for claiming conformance. In practice, some of these rules may be automatized by means of implementing them with Executable Test Suites, e.g. defining such rules using Schematron tests or tests using other validation languages.

    The following links may be also of your interest:



  • Keiran MILLARD

    By Keiran MILLARD


    In your email you ask quite abroad statement in "how does Inspire relate to us [MEDIN]?"  This in itself is an interesting question.  Inspire puts obligations on public bodies for data services; MEDIN is not a public body (it is a public-private network of organisations) so MEDIN in itself has no obligations towards Inspire.  However, many MEDIN members are public bodies and they will have Inspire obligations.  This raises two important questions.

    1. Is MEDIN delivering (or looking to deliver) Inspire compliance on behalf of these public bodies or is MEDIN supplying advice to help with their compliance?
    2. Several MEDIN members are / will be delivering Inspire services as part of their public task.  I am thinking of BGS (marine geology), UKHO (marine elevation) to name but two.  The Met Office is another.  How does MEDIN currently relate to these Inspire services in the marine domain?

    MEDIN’s position is not unique.  There is currently a separate discussion ongoing with EMODNet in a similar context.  EMODnet is a grouping to MEDIN in that it is delivering ‘Inspire-type services’ without the legal obligations to do so.  Hence can Member states delegate their Inspire obligations to EMODNet rather than duplicate (there is a separate discussion on this as part of the cluster).  As you know, many MEDIN partners also contribute to EMODNet.

    Once these sort of question are answered, the technical steps of actually delivering the services are more or less straight forward and links and examples of this have been provided in other replies to your question.  The current Inspire Marine Pilot should also provide examples of an Inspire end to end process (e.g. taking existing data stream, transforming them and delivering them through Inspire network services).

    If it would help, I am happy to come along to the next MEDIN meeting for an Inspire questions and answers.  You can email me at  I would like to work through what you are trying to achieve / understand as scope/responsibility issues come up time and time again – especially in the marine domain.


  • Sean GAFFNEY

    Dear Keiran,

    Thank you for your very comprehensive reply. The context of the discussion we had at the last Standards Group meeting was that, for MEDIN to be able to play the role we want of being a focal point for marine data and marine metadata, it would be important for MEDIN to understand the details of how INSPIRE specifications work, so that if necessary we could pass on some advice to the DACs or other public bodies who may ask us questions.

    While we had representatives of BGS, BODC and UKHO at the meeting, none seemed confident in how the INSPIRE specifications related to them or to MEDIN, so I was tasked with approaching the cluster.

    We did talk about having someone come along to give us a briefing. I will e-mail you with the proposed dates for our next meeting as it would be very useful to have you there, so the whole Standards Group can discuss things with you.



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Marine & Atmosphere

Marine & Atmosphere

Oceanographic Geographical Features, Sea Regions, Atmospheric Conditions and Meteorological Geographical Features