ARE3NA study on "RDF & PIDs for INSPIRE"


The ARE3NA project aims at creating a platform to support the reuse of location/geospatial data, metadata and services to support cross-border and cross-sector interoperability tasks in public administrations across the European Union (EU).

Scope of the study on "RDF and PIDs for INSPIRE"

INSPIRE is focusing on addressing the interoperability of geospatial data sets and services through the creation of data models (using UML) and geospatial encodings mechanisms (using GML), for the exchange of data related to one of the 34 spatial data themes defined in the INSPIRE Directive. In contrast, e-Government applications and tools usually use Linked Data based on the Resource Description Framework (RDF) of W3C. Several European projects and initiatives in Member States have created RDF vocabularies based on the conceptual INSPIRE UML data models. In this context, the ARE3NA RDF+PIDs study aimed at addressing the following issues:
  • Lack of agreed rules or guidelines on how to create RDF vocabularies from the UML models. In the context of INSPIRE, data models are developed on a conceptual level using the Unified Modeling Language (UML), and the default encoding for most INSPIRE themes is based on the Geography Markup Language (GML). However, the EU Member States and EU projects use Resource Description Framework (RDF) to make available the e-government applications and tools as Linked Data. Though the EU Member States and EU projects are creating RDF vocabularies based on the conceptual INSPIRE UML data models, there are no rules agreed or guidelines on how this creation should be performed.
  • Lack of best practices and guidelines in the area of global identifiers PIDs. Though the EU Member States have created governance structures, processes, rules/guidelines and tools to create, manage, maintain and use PIDs in their Spatial Data Infrastructures (SDIs), that INSPIRE is built upon, different approaches have been identified and no governance model/process has been established that would guide development of location information, in general, and INSPIRE, in particular.

Final deliverables (for review)

The final deliverables of the study are now available for review by the MIG and interested INSPIRE stakeholders:

Comments should be submitted to using the provided commenting table by 30 September 2014.

Testing the guidelines on methodologies for the creation of RDF vocabularies

We also encourage INSPIRE stakeholders and INSPIRE-related projects to test the proposed methodology for the creation of RDF vocabularies from the INSPIRE UML models and/or to create RDF instance documents consistent with the RDF vocabularies developed by the RDF experts supporting the study. Any feedback from such tests would be highly appreciated, including
  • any RDF instance documents created, and
  • suggestions for additional guidelines for creating RDF instance documents

Again, please send your feedback to

Further information

The preliminary results of the study were presented in 2 webinars on 5+6 May 2014. The presentations are available on Joinup.