The European Directive which provides the creation of a Community Data infrastructure that
    simplifies data sharing between public administrations and users’ access to spatial information


The fragmentation, the lack of harmonization, the duplication of data sets, information and sources are the main premises that led to the establishment of a spatial data infrastructure at European level.

“The time and resources in searching for existing spatial data or establishing whether they may be used for a particular purpose is a decisive obstacle to the full exploitation of the available data.” (Directive 2007/2 / EC).

The Directive 2007/2 / EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 2007, March 14th, establishes an Infrastructure for Spatial Information in Europe (INSPIRE – Infrastructure for Spatial Information in Europe) for the purposes of environmental community policies or the activities which may have an impact on the environment.

The INSPIRE Directive

The Directive came into force on 15 May 2007 and implemented in later stages. The full implementation of the Directive is expected by 2021.

The creation of a European infrastructure data can simplify the sharing of the spatial information between public authorities, to facilitate public access to environmental spatial information across Europe and assist decision-making processes concerning the environment and the territory.

The Directive is based on 5 principles:

  • More efficient management – data should be collected once and maintained where this can be done more efficiently;
  • Interoperability – it must be possible to combine data from different sources and share them between several users and applications;
  • Sharing – it must be possible to share information picked by the various levels of government;
  • Abundance and usability – the geographic information essential for good governance must exist and be truly accessible to conditions that do not restrict the possible use;
  • Availability and access – it must be easy to identify which geographic information is available, to evaluate its usefulness for their own purposes and conditions under which you can get it and use it.

INSPIRE Infrastructure

The infrastructure for spatial data consists of:

  • Metadata describing spatial dataset, series of data sets and services;
  • Datasets and services interoperability: – common structure (data model) for the unique identification of spatial objects;
    – The relationship between spatial objects;
    – The key attributes;
    – Information on the temporal dimension of the data;
    – Updates of the data;
  • Network services that enable the search for metadata (search service), the consultation (display service), the download (download service) and the data processing (processing services);
  • Sharing and reuse of data which allow public authorities to access, exchange and use data sets and services for the purposes of public tasks that may have an impact on the environment;
  • Coordination and complementary measures that ensure that appropriate structures and adapted mechanisms to coordinate all the stakeholders such as users, producers, service providers and coordinating bodies.

Transposition of the INSPIRE Directive and the role of the National Geoportal

The INSPIRE Directive was transposed into Italian law by the Legislative Decree of the 2010, January,  27th, n. 32 which was established in Italy, the national infrastructure for spatial information and environmental monitoring, as a community infrastructure node.

The Ministry of the Environment and protection of land and sea  is the competent authority for the implementation of Legislative Decree no. 32/10, and at the Ministry, the National Contact Point has set up for the INSPIRE Directive (ncp.inspire@minambiente.it).

About the National Geoportal, the Article. 8 of Legislative Decree no. 32/2010 states that:
• The National Geoportal enables stakeholders, public and private, to count the availability of spatial and environmental information;
• The National Geoportal is the access point for the purposes of the INSPIRE Directive , for the national level:
• to network services;
• to public authorities catalogues;
• to SINAnet network.

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Ministero dell'Ambiente e della Tutela del Territorio e del Mare