There's more to metadata than INSPIRE

- metadata

Over 30 local authorities are now using Astun’s Get INSPIREd service to fulfill their obligations under the Annex 3 regulations. Get INSPIREd provides a cloud-hosted environment for editing, testing and publishing compliant GEMINI2 metadata to

Getting INSPIREd

Get INSPIREd is more than a metadata technology platform, it provides all of the knowledge, support and training that will be required to become INSPIRE compliant and to realise the benefits of enterprise metadata throughout your organisation.

Astun provides guidance, documentation and links to recommendations on dataset selection from the UK Location Programme, then customers decide which datasets they need to release based on these recommendations. We support users with training and mentoring to steer them through the complexities of creating, maintaining and publishing their metadata. Projects have varied from 3 datasets to over 40, some projects take several weeks for metadata creation and QA and the fastest project took just twenty hours including two training sessions! When the client has completed their metadata, we run it through a final validation check and help to translate the sometimes obscure error messages that are almost inevitable on the first pass. When the metadata records have all passed validation we publish them to (see a recent case study)

At the moment data can be published using any data model (i.e. the data model in which it is maintained), but from 2019 data will need to be transformed into one of the Annex 3 data models (see These specifications are not simple, some run to over 120 pages! But fear not, we have been working on open source tools that will simplify and automate the task of transformation to the schema for each data model. If you want to know more about how we can support you in transforming your data for INSPIRE without purchasing any additional software, contact Mike Smith.

Enterprise metadata catalog

If a metadata project is focussed solely on complying with INSPIRE it could be an expensive burden. Embedding enterprise metadata throughout your organisation will realise substantial benefits including faster access to the right and current information, reduced duplication of data, lower data management costs and more evidence based decisions.

Organisations invest a lot of effort in creating and maintaining a metadata catalog in order to comply with the INSPIRE regulations. We are working with some organisations to help them go beyond INSPIRE to enterprise metadata that adds significant value to their data holdings. Astun has recently delivered an enterprise metadata project for the Environment Agency (EA). This cloud-hosted deployment required considerable customisation of GeoNetwork and the implementation of the EA’s corporate metadata schema that is based on Gemini 2.2 with additional elements. Whilst the EA has to comply with INSPIRE, they also wanted to create a single organisation-wide metadata service that catalogs all of their corporate data (including non spatial data) beyond the current INSPIRE themes. The EA’s solution incorporates a QA workflow prior to re-formatting and publishing selected records for public access via We’ll be publishing a case study shortly.

We are now working on the integration of enterprise metadata within iShareGIS, and we will have more details soon.


In order to support the GEMINI 2.2 profile on the latest version of GeoNetwork, which is integral to our GetINSPIREd service offering, we commissioned GeoSolutions, a core GeoNetwork and GeoServer developer to develop the GEMINI schema plugin. This schema plugin provides a tailored editor that follows the latest GEMINI specifications. Many schema rules have been imported from the previous version, and many others have been created in order to closely follow the new GEMINI metadata constraints.

The new plugin ensures that Astun continues to be able to provide a robust and compliant Open Source solution to organisations that have an obligation to publish a wide range of data themes. We are also prepared to rapidly implement the changes in the GEMINI 2.3 profile when it is finalised at the end of the year. Astun’s work on metadata projects in partnership with our customers has contributed to the development of GeoNetwork for all users, we look forward to making further contributions in the future.