Create INSPIRE Metadata v2 with ArcGIS Online and ArcGIS Enterprise Portal

05-18-2021 04:38 AM
Esri Regular Contributor
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This lesson steps you through how to create INSPIRE Metadata v2 for dataset metadata using the ArcGIS Online Metadata Editor. With ArcGIS Enterprise 10.9, this tutorial also applies to creating INSPIRE Metadata in the ArcGIS Enterprise portal.

UPDATED 23-June-2021 to include steps using the new INSPIRE Reference Validator, plus additional tips for 'Legal Constraint > Use limitation' to improve your open data catalog.


Before You Begin

This lesson assumes that you have content in ArcGIS Online, for example, a hosted Feature Layer, and your organization administrator has enabled metadata with the European ‘INSPIRE Metadata Directive’ style.


Verify that you are signed in, have privileges to create content and that your organization has enabled metadata.

From the 'My Content' tab of the content page, click the title of the item you want to create INSPIRE metadata.

Review Layer Settings

Begin by reviewing the item Settings and updating as needed. Click on the ‘Settings’ tab. 

As appropriate, mark the item as ‘Authoritative’ and check the box to enable delete protection. Check the ‘Export Data’ box to allow others to export different formats. This will enable downloads for your open data. Click ‘Save’ then return to the Item ‘Overview’ tab to return to the Item details page.


Open the Metadata Editor

In the ‘Overview’ Item details page, click the ‘Metadata’ button to open the Metadata Editor and follow the instructions below.

INSPIRE/ISO 19139 Metadata has eight main sections presented in a tabbed interface in the Metadata Editor. Each section has tabbed subsections containing associated metadata elements.


When you open the editor for the item for the first time, the editor is populated with existing metadata elements from the Item details page: title, tags, snippet, description, accessinformation, licenseinfo, and extent.

If you published the feature layer from a layer in ArcGIS Pro that already contained metadata, the metadata would flow through to ArcGIS Online. 

Open the ‘Validate’ Dialog

Click 'Validate' to reveal the INSPIRE required elements dialog.

Clicking the metadata editor 'Validate' runs a check to see what required elements have not yet been completed. A click-through dialog is presented for the missing required values, denoted with a yellow circle. Use this dialog to guide you through the creation of your INSPIRE metadata. Depending on if you have some metadata already completed, the metadata elements required to be completed may differ slightly from what is shown below.


Create Metadata

To start, click ‘Hierarchy Level - A value is required.’ Your cursor moves automatically to the element in the metadata editor, in this case, ‘Hierarchy Level’ with a dropdown menu.

Continue clicking through each Validate message and provide the required information in the field specified. The following provides detailed guidance for completing each metadata element to create valid INSPIRE Metadata:

Metadata Information

  • Hierarchy Level - choose ‘Dataset’ from the dropdown menu to document dataset metadata
  • Metadata Language - the language in which the metadata elements are expressed; choose the language from the dropdown menu
  • Organization Name - the name of the organisation responsible for the metadata as free text
  • Email - a contact email address as a character string

Resource Information

  • Date - one of Creation Date, Publication Date, or Revision Date is required; enter a calendar date in the specified format, e.g., yyyy-mm-dd, or click ’Now’ to populate this element with the current date
  • Code - enter "publication” (enter exactly as written, without quotes)
  • Description (Abstract) - a brief narrative summary of the content of the resource as free text; consider including the definition from the INSPIRE theme register as part of your abstract
  • Resource Language - choose the language(s) used within the resource.
  • Country - choose a country from the dropdown list
  • Spatial Representation Type - choose a value from the dropdown list, for example, ‘Vector’ for a Feature Layer
  • Topic Category - a high-level classification scheme to assist in the grouping and topic-based search of available spatial data resources; select one or more topics
  • Keywords - the primary INSPIRE theme keyword of the dataset; click “Lookup” to open the GEMET Keyword Lookup Browser. After a moment, the ‘GEMET INSPIRE Data Theme’ popup will open


      • Choose a language as appropriate in the language dropdown. 
      • Check a box to select exactly one GEMET Keyword matching the INSPIRE Theme of the layer (note, choosing more than one theme keyword will produce “Fail” results in the external INSPIRE Validator). Click ‘OK’


  • Organization Name - the name of the organisation responsible for the dataset as free text
  • Email - a contact email address as a character string
  • Access Constraints - choose an Access Constraint statement from the dropdown menu, for example, “no limitations to public access”; see the INSPIRE Registry for definitions of Limitations on public access
  • Use Limitations - choose a Use Limitation statement from the dropdown menu, for example, “no conditions to access and use”; see the INSPIRE Registry for definitions of Conditions Applying To Access and Use
  • At least one Geographic Bounding Box is required - toggle the control to turn on Geographic Extent




Use the popup map to interactively draw a bounding box around the extent of your data; Click ‘OK’


  • At least one use limitation is required. (INSPIRE)when Member States limit public access to spatial data sets and spatial data services under Article 13 of Directive 2007/2/EC, this metadata element shall provide information on the limitations and the reasons for them; If there are no limitations on public access, this metadata element shall indicate that fact as free text. For example, enter “CC0”


    If you add a Creative Commons license (CC0, CC BY, CC BY-SA) by either the name or the URL and share to a Hub catalog, the the item’s dataset page will display the Creative Commons license icon and will link to the appropriate license details web page. If you add an Open Data Commons license (PDDL, ODbL, ODC-By), the dataset page will display the license name and link to the appropriate license details web page.


Quality Information

  • Scope Level - choose a value from the dropdown menu; for example, choose “Dataset”
  • Report Type - choose “Domain Consistency”
  • Explanation - a citation of the specification against which conformity was tested, for example (without quotes): “See the referenced specification
  • Degree - if your dataset conformance is congruent with the above conformance explanation, choose ‘Conformant’ from the dropdown list; otherwise, choose “Non Conformant”
  • Title - the title of the specification used for the above conformance result. Choose the language of the INSPIRE specification title from the dropdown list to add the full title in the specified language to the Metadata record


  • Publication Date - enter “2010-12-08” (enter exactly as written, without quotes)

Distribution Information

  • Format Name - Enter “GeoService” without quotes
  • Format Version - Enter “n/a” without quotes

Reference Information

  • Code - Enter the spatial reference code “WGS84” (enter exactly as written, without quotes)

Quality Information

*Note, depending on your answers to the above metadata elements, additional elements may be required. Click ‘Validate’ again to reveal required quality information.

  • If Scope is Dataset or Series, a Lineage Statement is required. (INSPIRE). – Enter a lineage statement, for example, “Data were loaded from source data into INSPIRE GDB template, then published to ArcGIS Online”

Click 'Save' then view your metadata

Click ‘Save’ to save the metadata. Click ‘View’ then the ‘Save and View’ button to view the metadata in a separate tab.


Important: The metadata are presented in human-friendly HTML. However, the external INSPIRE Reference Validator requires XML encoded metadata. To view as XML, find and delete “&output=html” from the URL string (hit ‘Enter’ on your keyboard to refresh the page with the edited URL). 



Copy the URL of the XML metadata from your browser menu bar. Alternatively, use your browser ‘File > Save As’ menu to save the XML file to use with the INSPIRE Reference Validator.

Check your Metadata using the INSPIRE Reference Validator

In a web browser, open the official INSPIRE Reference Validator and click ’Test your data, services, or metadata’ to start a test. 



The validator is already configured to test your metadata using the Technical Guidelines version 2.0 for data sets and data set series metadata. Verify your answer to the antispam question.



Add your metadata to be tested

Follow instructions to provide your metadata to test and click ’Start test’.



Check the Status of your report

The validator runs its tests and generates a report. View the results to see your metadata "Passed" inspection. If you left fields blank or incorrectly filled in metadata elements when creating your metadata, it may fail some tests. Click the “See report” link to expand sections and view detailed results. Then, return to the ArcGIS Metadata Editor and update your metadata, as needed.



You're Finished!

For your convenience, you can download the example metadata file used in this lesson along with the Validator 'Passed' report (generated 18-May-2021) to assist you in your metadata creation.

About the Author
Dr. Jill Saligoe-Simmel is a 20+year leader of Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) and champion of FAIR and open data.