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INSPIRE Directive

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What is INSPIRE?

INSPIRE is shorthand for an EU Directive 2007/2/EC. It entered into force on 15 May 2007.

What is its aim?

It aims to create a common infrastructure for spatial data across Europe. Spatial data are data that have a spatial component. It means that data can directly refer to a location or area. This infrastructure will assist sharing of environmental spatial data to the public and other public sector organisations.

Not only must spatial data be provided in a consistent harmonised format, Member States must provide networked service to access this data.

What type of environmental data does this cover?

The Directive specifies 34 different environmental themes under which datasets must be provided. The themes are grouped into Annexes. Each have different deadlines for delivery.

Where can I find Irish data?

INSPIRE data can be found at It is managed by Ordnance Survey Ireland.

How has Ireland implemented INSPIRE?

The INSPIRE Directive was transposed into Irish law on 1 August 2010.  The Directive will be implemented in stages with the INSPIRE “roadmap” setting out target dates for implementation of these stages.

Initial guidance to public authorities on ISDI/INSPIRE has been published.

The findings of an Irish Spatial Data Infrastructure (ISDI) pilot project, conducted in 2012, are provided. This report makes a number of recommendations to advise government and other public bodies on what is required to meet their spatial data publishing obligations under the terms of the INSPIRE Directive.

More technical information on the metadata profile is available.

Where can I find information on what data is currently available?

All EU Member States are required to submit a monitoring report with details of available datasets.

Where can I find further information on the entire project?

The European INSPIRE website contains information on the technical components of the Directive and on implementation across Europe.