INSPIRE Knowledge Base

Deadline extended for Survey on INSPIRE Data Sharing


The Commission is currently conducting a study on how the sharing of geospatial data between public authorities and with the public could be improved across the EU.

The INSPIRE Directive plays an important role in facilitating such sharing. However, experience shows that there is room for improvement and that more can done.

Therefore we ask you, as the users and producers of geospatial data and information, to share with us your experiences and thoughts on the use of this ‘infrastructure’ by answering a questionnaire that you find online at

The survey is open until 5th November 2018.


Since the entry into force of the Infrastructure for Spatial Information, INSPIRE Directive in 2007, more and more spatial data is being published on the internet by public authorities or organizations working on their behalf.

As required by INSPIRE, other public authorities or organizations working on their behalf, should have obstacle free access and the right to use this spatial data.

Also non-public authorities, so called ‘third-parties’[1] (i.a the private sector, academia, non-governmental organization, a private citizen) should have access to this spatial data. However, the conditions and limitations applicable for the re-use of the public sector spatial data by third parties are not set by INSPIRE, but by the Re-use of Public Sector Information, PSI Directive.

For both the public authority and third party users it is important to know under what conditions [2] they can access and use the spatial data and if there are limitations [3] applicable for public access.

Therefore it is important that the public authority providers of spatial data document their spatial data with information on the applicable conditions and limitations while making sure that those conditions and limitations are conform to the law (e.g. INSPIRE, PSI). In addition, other information on the spatial data is important for the users, such as how to contact the providers, information on the quality of spatial data and technical information and/or links to gain online access to the spatial data.

With this survey, we are reaching out to all public authority providers, public authority users and third party users to share their experience and views on the quality and content of this documentation. When the quality of this documentation is poor, obstacles may arise preventing the efficient use of spatial data. When the conditions and limitations are not conform to the law, there may be complaints resulting in legal action. When information on data quality, on how to gain access or on how to contact the providers, is missing or of poor quality, then this may create obstacles to the users and limit the re-use potential of spatial data.

To address these issues the EC launched a study on the “Evaluation and assessment of INSPIRE directive 2007/2/EC data sharing between public authorities and public access and use provisions”. This study should produce recommendations on which basis both the European Commission and the Member States could take further actions to improve the access and use of spatial data for the wider environmental, social and economic benefit.

Whether you are a user or a provider of spatial data, your participation to this survey is important for this study and we therefore kindly invite you to answer to this questionnaire (which should not take more than 15-30’ of your time).


[1] third party’ means any natural or legal person other than a public authority
[2] 'Conditions applying to access and use' means a description of the conditions under which a public authority or third party can access and use the spatial data or services. If fees are applied to have access and/or use, the description should provide the information on any fees necessary to access and use.
[3] 'Limitations on public access' means a description providing information of the limitations that apply and the reasons for them, when a third party requires access to the spatial data or services. Note: This description may also be included in the description of the conditions applying to access and use, but in such case INSPIRE requires that this information is also documented under this heading.

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