INSPIRE Data Specification Extensions

  1. Introduction
    1. Methodology
    2. Contributions
  2. Results of the Survey
  3. Inventory of Model Extensions
  4. The INSPIRE Model-Driven Methodology
  5. The Extension Methodology
  6. The Pattern Catalogue
  7. An End-to-End Tutorial Project
  8. Conclusions and Outlook

Objectives and Context

INSPIRE, the European Directive establishing an Infrastructure for Spatial Information in the European Community, provides a large number of data models. While these cover many core use cases, they often need to be extended to serve specific organisational needs.

In the Netherlands, a new spatial planning act coming into force in 2018. Through this new Environment & Planning Act (Omgevingswet), the government wants to combine and simplify the regulations for spatial projects. The aim is to make it easier to start up projects, for example, the construction of housing on former business parks, or the building of wind farms. For this purpose a central information infrastructure is needed based on clear agreements and digital standards. This is in line with the main objectives of the INSPIRE directive. Extending INSPIRE seems to be the most efficient way forward.

Jandirk Bulens, Geonovum

Geonovum has commissioned wetransform to research and document patterns for such model extensions. Together with the INSPIRE Maintenance and Implementation Groups, and supported by an expert group, we answer the following questions:

  • How can you extend INSPIRE data specifications in an uniform and standardised way?
  • Are we able - based on the currently best practices in Europe – to develop a standardised approach with patterns to extend the INSPIRE data models?


As a first step towards answering these questions, we executed a survey. We used that survey to collect best practices, challenges and information on the created or planned model extensions.

To provide context, we summarize the INSPIRE Model Driven Approach.

We then describe the extension methodology. It is based on the harmonisation methodology developed in the HUMBOLDT project and then refined in more than 20 other projects afterwards. We describe different phases – Organise, Analyse, Design, Validate, Consult and Publish – and provide concrete step-by-step guidance for each of the phases.

In the tutorial, we describe different tools for modeling, transformation and publishing, such as Enterprise Architect, GeoServer, deegree and Shapechange.


This website is hosted as a Github page on a public Github repository. This means it is easy for anyone to suggest changes and additions. It is even possible to edit the page completely online, without special tools or the need to download the entire page. The principal process for making a contribution is as follows:

  1. Log in to Github.
  2. Visit the repository where the content of this study is hosted and switch to the gh-pages branch.
  3. Create a Fork of the inspire-extensions repository.
  4. In your forked repository, perform edits, either online by using the online Markdown and HTML editors, or offline by cloning the repository to your computer
  5. When you have completed your edit or addition, save/commit your changes, and create a Pull Request from your modified branch to the wetransform/gh-pages branch to let us know you want your changes to be included.
  6. Get notified when we review and merge your request in, and see your contribution become visible here!