INSPIRE Knowledge Base

Basic concepts of XML and GML


XML (Extensible Markup Language) has become the de-facto standard for interchanging data over the internet. It is one of the most important IT standards when building Spatial Data Infrastructures (SDI’s). The GML (Geography Markup Language) is the XML grammar that specifies geographical features and also geospatial datasets. The module describes the basic concepts of XML (syntax, schema, XSL and parsers), GML (simple feature elements and spatial reference systems) and UML class diagrams and how they are related to each other. The module also describes how you can apply the concepts on simple but common problems. The module is a self-learning module, but it can also be provided as a face-to-face learning module.


The module consists of two parts as follows:

  • Part 1: XML syntax, elements and attributes, XML Schema, XSL, XPath, usage of XML parsers and editors and UML class diagrams
  • Part 2: Geography Markup Language (GML), Simple feature elements for geometry, Spatial Reference Systems, GML Schemas, Geometric models
Learning outcomes: 

When completing this module, the learner is expected to be able to define and describe the basic concepts of XML, GML and UML class diagrams.

Intended Audience: 

Professionals without experience in XML, GML and UML class diagrams.


When entering this training module, we assume that you have basic knowledge in Geographic Information processing.

Training format: 

PDF documents, presentations with voice, reading instructions of open resources, exercises, self-test. The module is provided as a self-learning module, or, if feedback on exercises are requested, also as an instructor led module (optional).

Expected Workload: 
16 hours

This training material has been developed within the EuroSDR Educational Services (EduServ) (


Author: Anders Östman, Novogit AB. The material is provided under Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike License (

1. Context knowledge for INSPIRE