Procedures for Data and Metadata Harmonization


Earlier versions of this training module have been developed within the context of the NatureSDIplus project (, 2010, and of the smeSpire project, 2013 (
Authors: Giacomo Martirano, Fabio Vinci, Stefania Morrone (EPSILON ITALIA). The material is provided under Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike License (

This self-learning module gives an overview on the procedures used to transform heterogeneous source datasets and metadata according to the relevant INSPIRE target schemas.

It outlines the principles of data and metadata harmonization related to INSPIRE and describes the steps needed in an harmonization process.

The module explains how to analyse the data models (source and target) and how to utilize matching tables in order to perform the mapping between source data and INSPIRE target schema elements. It gives an overview of some transformation tools in order to help the selection of the most suitable one.

The module introduces the principles of validation, as a necessary step to check/claim the compliance of the harmonized data and/or metadata to the relevant specification.

Practical examples of data transformation and validation are provided in the module “Examples of Data Transformation” and  “Metadata and Data Validation for INSPIRE” respectively.

  1. Principles of Data and Metadata Harmonization
  2. Source and Target Data models
  3. Matching tables
  4. Transformation of Data and Metadata
  5. Principles of validation of transformed data and metadata
Learning outcomes

After the module, the participant will be able to identify and describe the steps needed to perform a data/metadata harmonization, identify the applicable regulations/guidelines needed in an harmonization and/or validation process, identify the suitable transformation tool(s), evaluate the complexity of a data/metadata harmonization process.

Intended Audience

GIS and ICT professionals, who aim to understand the principles of an INSPIRE harmonization.

Non technical staff belonging to organizations aiming to implement INSPIRE.

Basic knowledge of the INSPIRE directive.
PDF documents, presentations, Weblecture. The module is a self-learning module.
Expected workload
2 hours