INSPIRE Priority datasets: new metadata keywords

Reporting and monitoring under the environmental acquis is a priority use case for the development of pan-European information products.

The European Commission (DG ENV and DG JRC) and the European Environment Agency prepared a preliminary list of datasets related to environmental reporting obligations in 6 environmental domains: “Air & Noise”, “Industry”, “Waste”, “Nature and Biodiversity”, “Water” and “Marine”. The Member States shall make the datasets included this list (so called “Priority datasets”) accessible through the European Spatial Data Infrastructure (INSPIRE) in a stepwise manner.

The aim is to improve coherence, timeliness and quality of reported data meanwhile streamlining information data flows, thus reducing the reporting burden and inducing more integrated public eGovernment services.

The ‘priority dataset list’ is a living inventory of environmental information needs and provides an instrument to:

  • incrementally build comparable INSPIRE maturity across MS for all INSPIRE components (metadata, services, interoperability, data sharing) based on common settings;
  • plan tangible and usable INSPIRE deliverables for eReporting;
  • monitor progress on INSPIRE implementation in general and for the reporting use case in specific;
  • promote the reuse of the INSPIRE infrastructure for reporting purposes.

The system for finding, filtering and making available the priority datasets was modified recently, to be fully based on the newly created "INSPIRE priority data set" controlled vocabulary in the INSPIRE Registry (

For the datasets belonging to the list of the ‘priority datasets’, the use of the ‘controlled’ values (i.e. values included in the code list) as keywords inside the relevant INSPIRE metadata is mandatory and relevant implementation guidelines are available ( .

This tagging procedure will ensure identification of the “official “datasets- i.e. those and only those identified by the Member States - and their discoverability thanks to the application "Thematic Viewer - Priority datasets" (currently available only as a beta version) which makes use of these keywords to identify the "priority datasets" among the numerous metadata on the INSPIRE geo-portal.