Create INSPIRE metadata

The European Union requires metadata to be created for spatial datasets and services associated with various spatial data themes. The Technical Guidance for the implementation of INSPIRE dataset and service metadata based on ISO/TS 19139:2007, referred to here as the INSPIRE metadata guidelines, describes how the requirements can be met while creating metadata that also complies with the ISO 19115 and ISO 19139 metadata standards. This guide describes the workflows for editing metadata in ArcGIS Pro to produce content that complies with the INSPIRE metadata guidelines.

Configure ArcGIS Pro

The first step toward creating metadata content that complies with the INSPIRE metadata guidelines is to configure ArcGIS Pro correctly. On the Options dialog box, choose INSPIRE Metadata Directive in the Metadata style drop-down list.

When you edit metadata in the metadata view, the validation errors you see are based on the INSPIRE metadata guidelines. These rules have been added to the rules that will help you create valid ISO 19115 and ISO 19139 metadata. Due to the nature of the specification, the INSPIRE rules can't be considered exclusive of the ISO 19115 and ISO 19139 requirements. When you view an item's metadata in the catalog view, all of its metadata content is displayed.

If the metadata style set in ArcGIS Pro doesn't match the metadata style used by your organization and by ArcGIS Desktop, you may see inconsistencies when you view and edit metadata throughout the ArcGIS platform.

Edit INSPIRE metadata content

You can create full ISO 19115 and ISO 19139 metadata for an item that also complies with the INSPIRE metadata guidelines in ArcGIS Pro. To get started, complete the following steps:

  1. Edit an item's metadata in the metadata view.
    The metadata view appears, displaying the first metadata editor page. All pages available for editing metadata are listed in the Contents pane.
  2. Click each page in the Contents pane where required content is identified as being missing Invalid Metadata and provide the appropriate content.

    When all required content has been provided the page will be identified in the Contents pane as being valid Valid Metadata.

  3. Apply or save your changes as appropriate.

    It may take some time to complete an item's metadata. You can save your changes and finish the remainder at a later time, even if required information is missing. The next time you work on the project, the metadata view will be open to the page you worked on last.

  4. Close the metadata view when your work is complete.

Create INSPIRE-compliant metadata

The following table describes where you can find each of the INSPIRE metadata elements. You're not limited to the information below; this information is provided to help you get started. If information beyond the minimum is provided, additional content may be required to complement that information according to the standards.

The INSPIRE 2.0.1 metadata guidelines document has a section describing each metadata element that should be provided, to meet either the INSPIRE requirements or the requirements of ISO 19115, with examples of the expected content. The numbers for these sections precede the element name as defined in the guidelines. Additional sections detail the INSPIRE-specific conformance rules. For metadata elements associated with a specific conformance rule, the conformance rule number is also provided in parentheses; they begin with the letter C.

The information provided below covers the INSPIRE 2.0.1 requirements for documenting spatial dataset and data series items. It does not include instructions for documenting spatial data services at this time.

Metadata editor pageSteps to fulfill INSPIRE and ISO 19115 and 19139 requirements
Overview > Item Description
  • 2.3.1 Resource title (C.2.1)—Type the title in the Title text box.
  • 2.3.2 Resource abstract (C.2.2)—Type the abstract in the Description (Abstract) text box.
  • 2.3.8 Geographic bounding box (C.2.12)—Click New Bounding Box. Provide the bounding coordinates in the appropriate text boxes in decimal degrees, based on the WGS84 coordinate reference system.
Overview > Topics & Keywords
  • Topic category (C.2.8)—Check as many Topic Category values as appropriate.
  • Keywords for Spatial Data Theme(s) (C.2.10)—At least one keyword from a controlled vocabulary such as the GEMET (General Multilingual Environmental Thesaurus) thesaurus must be provided to define the dataset's subject. To use GEMET with an internet connection, click New Theme Keywords and click Lookup. On the GEMET - INSPIRE Data Theme dialog box, click the appropriate language in the drop-down list, press the Ctrl key, click all relevant keywords in the keywords list, and click OK. Alternatively, type each keyword on a separate line in the Theme Keywords box; the keywords must exactly match the text from the thesaurus in the language of the metadata. Additional keywords may also be provided. It is preferred that keywords be derived from a thesaurus.
  • 2.3.5 Using keywords (C.2.11)—For keywords derived from the GEMET thesaurus, click Add Thesaurus Citation. The title of the GEMET thesaurus is added automatically to the Title text box; the same title is used in all languages. For other well-known thesauri, delete the title that was added automatically and type the exact title of the thesaurus used. Click New Online Resource. The URL for the GEMET thesaurus is added automatically to the Linkage text box. If another thesaurus is used, delete the URL that was added automatically and type the appropriate URL if the thesaurus is available on the internet. Click the Dates heading and click the Published calendar button. Specify the exact publication date of the thesaurus you are using. For the GEMET thesaurus, set the publication date to 2008-06-01.
Overview > Citation
  • 2.3.1 Resource title (C.2.1)—The title provided on the Item Description page also appears here in the Title text box.
  • Unique resource identifier (C.2.5)—Click New Identifier and type a unique value in the Code text box. It is preferred for identifiers to be provided in the format of a URI, particularly if it can be resolved as an internet URL that will not change over time.
  • 2.3.4 Temporal references (C.2.14, C.2.15, and C.2.16)—Click the Dates heading. Click the calendar button next to one or more of the date types (Created, Published, or Revised) and specify an appropriate date. Providing a revision date is recommended, when appropriate. Add a time if the information is significant.
Metadata > Details
  • 2.2.1 File identifier—Click Create next to the File Identifier text box to generate a GUID that uniquely identifies this metadata document.
  • 2.2.4 Metadata date (C.2.26)—The date when the metadata was last updated is recorded automatically when you save your changes in the metadata editor. However, if you are transcribing metadata that was authored at another time, click the Date Stamp calendar button and provide the appropriate date.
  • 2.2.2 Metadata language (C.2.27)—Click the Language drop-down list and click an appropriate value, if one hasn't been provided.
  • Resource type (C.2.3)—Click the Hierarchy Level drop-down list and click an appropriate value.
Metadata > Contacts
  • 2.2.3 Metadata point of contact (C.2.24 and C.2.25)—Click New Contact if an appropriate contact isn't listed in the drop-down list. Type the full name of the organization, without abbreviations, in the Organization text box. Click the Role drop-down list and click Point of Contact. Click New Contact Information, and type an appropriate address in the Email text box; the email address provided should contact the organization and should not be a personal email address.
Resource > Details
  • Resource language (C.2.7)—Click the Language drop-down list and click an appropriate value if one hasn't been provided. Specify as many languages as are needed to describe the textual information provided by the resource.
  • Character encoding (C.3.4)—If the item's data is not encoded in UTF-8 format, click the Character Set drop-down list and click the appropriate value.
  • Spatial representation type (C.3.5)—If a value that is appropriate for the resource has not been provided automatically, click the Spatial Representation Type drop-down list and click the appropriate value.
  • Spatial resolution (C.2.18)—If a scale denominator or resolution distance can be specified for a vector or raster resource, the spatial resolution must be provided. For vector data, type the scale denominator in the Scale Resolution text box. For raster data, type a ground sample distance in the Distance Resolution text box and click an appropriate unit of measure in the drop-down list. Provide an additional scale or distance to define the upper or lower limit of an interval that applies to the resource, or as many scales or distances as are needed to define the levels of detail provided by the resource.
Resource > Extents
  • 2.3.8 Geographic bounding box (C.2.12)—The bounding box provided on the Item Description page also appears here under the Extents heading.
  • 2.3.4 Temporal references (C.2.13)—If a time period or set of dates better represents the item's temporal reference than the dates provided on the Overview > Citation page, click either New Temporal Period Extent or New Temporal Instant Extent under the Extent heading as many times as needed to provide this information. Click the calendar buttons and select the appropriate dates. Add a time if the information is significant.
Resource > Points of Contact
  • 2.3.3 Responsible organization and point of contact for the described resource (C.2.23 and C.2.24)—Load a contact from the drop-down list or click New Contact. Type the organization's name in the Organization text box. Click an appropriate value in the Role drop-down list. Click New Contact Information, and type an appropriate address in the Email text box.
Resource > Constraints
  • 2.3.6 Limitations on public access (C.2.22)—Click an appropriate value in the INSPIRE Limitations On Public Access drop-down list. If public access is limited, identify the part of Article 13 of the INSPIRE Directive providing the basis for those limitations. Click New Legal Constraints, click New Use Limitation, and type information about the limitations and the reasons for them. For example, if a Creative Commons or Open Data Commons license is used, provide the name of the license such as CC BY or its URL. When data is published and shared to a Hub catalog, Creative Commons and Open Data Commons licenses are recognized, and the correct icon and link appear automatically on the item’s page.
  • 2.3.7 Conditions applying to access and use (C.2.21)—If there are no conditions for using the resource, or if the conditions are unknown, click a value in the INSPIRE Conditions Applying To Access And Use drop-down list. However, if there are known conditions, these must be described. Click New Legal Constraints, click New Other Constraints, and type an explanation. Click the Use Constraints drop-down list and click Other Restrictions.
Resource > Spatial Reference
  • Coordinate reference systems (C.3.1)—The spatial reference should be defined in the item's properties; the details are appropriately recorded in its metadata when the item's properties are synchronized. If you are documenting an item whose metadata can't be synchronized, or if you must add information to describe a vertical spatial reference that isn't synchronized, click New Reference System. Type the code or the geographic identifier defining the coordinate reference system in the Code text box. Type a URI identifier for the coordinate reference system in the Code Space text box.
  • Temporal reference systems (C.3.2)—If the data contains dates and times provided in a system other than the Gregorian calendar, click New Reference System, and specify the temporal reference system used by the data in the Code text box. For example, type the name of the calendar or era system used. Provide an identifier for the reference system in the Code Space text box if the information typed in the Code text box is insufficient on its own.
Resource > Quality
  • Scope—Click Dataset or Series in the Scope Level drop-down list.
  • 2.4.1 Conformity (C.2.20)—The dataset's level of conformity to the INSPIRE regulations must be specified. Click New Report, click the Report Type drop-down list, and click Domain Consistency. Click New Conformance Result and click the Specification heading. Click the Title drop-down list and click the metadata language—the exact title of the INSPIRE regulations in the specified language is used for the specification title. Click the Dates heading, click the Published calendar button, and set the publication date to 2010-12-08. Additional regulations to which the item is expected to conform depend on its type. Document each specification in a separate data quality report. Click New Report, click New Conformance Result, click the Specification heading, and accept the default value Other in the Title drop-down list. Type the title of the document in the Title text box. Click New Online Resource and provide the URL for the specification in the Linkage text box. Click the Dates heading, click the Published calendar button, and specify the official publication date of the specification.
  • Conformity (C.2.19)—Under the appropriate data quality report's Conformance Result heading, check Pass to indicate that the resource conforms with the specification. If the resource doesn't conform, first check and then uncheck Pass. Type a statement in the Explanation text box regarding the degree to which the item conforms with the specification. Repeat this process for each additional specification described in a data quality report.
  • 3.2.4 Topological consistency (C.3.6)—This information is mandatory if the dataset includes types from the INSPIRE Generic Network Model, and the network does not ensure centerline topology. Providing this information follows the same process used to describe conformity. Click New Report, click the Report Type drop-down list, and click Topological Consistency. Click New Measure Date, click the Measure Date calendar button that appears, and provide the date when the topological consistency was examined. Click the Measure heading, click New Measure Name, and type the name of the measure that was used to determine the dataset's topological consistency in the Name text box, such as Network connectivity. Click the Evaluation Method heading, click the Type drop-down list, and click the type of test used to measure compliance. Type a description of the test in the Description text box. Click New Conformance Result. Check Pass and then uncheck Pass to indicate that the resource does not provide centerline topology. In the Explanation text box, describe the results of the test. Click the Specification heading. Type the official title of the specification in the Title text box: INSPIRE Data Specifications - Base Models - Generic Network Model; the same title is used in all languages. Click the Dates heading, and click the calendar button next to Published. Provide the official date of this specification: 2013-04-05.
Resource > Lineage
  • Lineage (C.2.17)—Type a description of the item's lineage in the Statement text box.
Resource > Distribution
  • Data encoding (C.3.3)—Specify the format in which the dataset is encoded so others know if they are able to access and process the data. If a value that is appropriate for the resource has not been specified automatically by the metadata synchronization process, click New Distribution Format. Under the Distribution Format heading, type the encoding format in the Format Name text box. Type the version of the format used into the Format Version text box, if appropriate. If the format is not versioned or the version is unknown, leave the Format Version text box empty—it will be handled appropriately when metadata is exported to the ISO 19139 format.
  • Resource locator (C.2.4)—Any URLs available to access the item or provide more information about the resource must be provided. Click New Digital Transfer Options, click New Online Resource, and type the URL in the Linkage text box. It is recommended that you provide additional information in the Name, Description, and Function elements, if possible, to describe the information or type of service available at the provided URL.

Best practices for authoring INSPIRE content in ArcGIS

ArcGIS allows you to create a full ISO 19115 and 19139 metadata record to describe an item that is also INSPIRE compliant. However, there are a few differences between the INSPIRE instructions and how you should provide the corresponding information in ArcGIS. By following some best practices, the metadata you create in ArcGIS will be accurate and easier to maintain and will transition seamlessly to other metadata styles and formats in the future.

Inapplicable or unknown values

When metadata is exported to an ISO 19139-formatted XML file, if a metadata element is considered mandatory by ISO 19115 and ISO 19139 but a value has not been provided in the metadata editor, the element will have a nilReason code added automatically in a way that satisfies the ISO 19139 XML schemas to indicate that the value is missing or unknown. Each metadata standard has similar requirements, but different elements are considered mandatory and the way in which the uncertainty or absence of a value is indicated in the exported XML file is different. Exporters for each style manage the situation appropriately.

Content defined by the metadata style

A metadata style configures ArcGIS to support a specific metadata standard or profile. Each metadata standard typically has metadata elements to record the name and version of the standard that was followed, how the metadata content was recorded, and so on. Exporters for each style manage the situation appropriately. When metadata is exported to an INSPIRE-compliant ISO 19139-formatted XML file using other applications in the ArcGIS platform, the ISO 19139 metadataStandardName and metadataStandardVersion elements are added at that time.

Content that can't or shouldn't be edited

For most items, ArcGIS automatically records the item's intrinsic properties in its metadata as appropriate. For example, if an item's spatial reference is set, full details of that spatial reference are recorded in its metadata. Detailed spatial reference properties can't be edited manually in the metadata view. This ensures the metadata reflects the item's actual spatial reference. With other metadata styles, you can manually provide information about an item's spatial reference for items that don't support synchronization, but you can only do so by providing the spatial reference identifier. The properties of the spatial reference are fixed for that identifier, and they can be examined in the appropriate registry where they're defined; individual spatial reference parameters are not manually typed into an item's metadata.

For other properties, such as an item's feature count, raster size, or attribute labels, it's possible to change the information derived from the item when editing metadata in ArcGIS. However, these values should be left unaltered. As long as these values aren't edited in the metadata view, ArcGIS will continue to update them as the item's properties change and they'll remain accurate. For example, if attributes are provided in an item's metadata but their names don't match field names in the item's attribute table, they'll be removed from the item's metadata the next time it's synchronized with the item's intrinsic properties.

The ArcGIS metadata editor automatically provides the current date as the date when the metadata was last updated, and the appropriate character set value describing how metadata created by ArcGIS is encoded. These values typically should not be modified. However, if you're transcribing metadata that describes an archived item, for example, you may want to change the metadata date to reflect the date when the metadata content was originally authored.

Export metadata to the ISO 19139 XML format

If you need to provide information about an item to people or organizations outside the ArcGIS platform, you can export the item's metadata to a stand-alone metadata file in the ISO 19139 XML format. When ArcGIS Pro is set to use the INSPIRE Metadata Directive style, the item's metadata is exported by default to the INSPIRE version of the ISO 19139 XML format.

  1. On the Catalog tab on the ribbon, in the Metadata group, click Export Export.

    The Export Metadata dialog box appears.

  2. Click The metadata content to export drop-down list and click the amount of content to filter out of the item's metadata during the export process.
    • All Supported Content—The item's metadata is not filtered.
    • Without Machine Names—The item's metadata content is filtered to remove any machine names that may exist. Appropriate actions are taken depending on the context in which the machine name is found. The metadata element will be removed if it doesn't cause the document to be invalid, the machine name will be removed from the beginning of a UNC path, or the value will be changed to identify the location as being withheld.
    • Without Sensitive Information—Machine names are filtered as described above. Additionally, local and network file paths, and internet locations other than http or https addresses are removed in the same manner. Operating system information, database information, and geoprocessing history are also removed.
  3. Confirm that Current style (INSPIRE) is selected in the The type of metadata to export drop-down list.
  4. Browse to or type the location and name of the XML file that will be created in the Export metadata to text box.
  5. Click OK.

    The filtered ArcGIS metadata elements are matched to the appropriate ISO 19139 metadata elements with the modifications required by the INSPIRE profile, and their content is transferred to an ISO 19139-format XML file. ArcGIS metadata includes content that is not included in the ISO 19139 standard, such as thumbnails and descriptions of the fields in an attribute table; this content can't be included in an ISO 19139-format XML file.

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