INSPIRE Geoportal and the Integration with the Thesaurus Framework


The INSPIRE Geoportal developed originally for JRC as the central portal for environmental information in the European Union has been re-used and extended in order to serve as a proof of concept scenario that demonstrates the feasibility of a functional client using the eENVplus services. For this purpose, a special version of the INSPIRE geoportal has been developed, which provides a twofold integration with eENVplus.


First, it harvests the metadata provided by the eENVplus Catalogue and second, it integrates with the LusTRE Knowledge Infrastructure exploiting the LusTRE services in order to enhance data discovery.

Regarding the pilot integration, the geoportal acts as a client to the CSW pilot endpoints. The endpoint details are stored in the Apache Jackrabbit registry subsystem of the portal and are being harvested periodically to extract the list of inspire records. These results are then discoverable through the GUI through appropriate user filters.

In the context of the Thesaurus Framework, the INSPIRE geoportal integrates the four operations of GetSuggestions, GetRelatives, DescribeConcept and GetSynonyms. The incorporation of these operations enhances significantly the users‘ expressive ability during queries (GetSuggestions, GetRelatives), facilitates their understanding of obscure or ambiguous metadata terms (DescribeConcepts), and enriches the result list with related to the query records (GetSynonyms).

Specifically, in the case of the GetSuggestions and GetRelatives operations, the client performs automatic multi-lingual keyword suggestions in the GUI (concept of interactive discovery and autocompletion) given by the thesauri of the eENVplus Thesaurus Framework, as well as by the internal codelists.

The existence of multiple thesauri inside of GEMET, enriches significantly the user experience during query formulation and users can choose whether they will exploit a single or all the thesauri to retrieve suggestions and related terms.

In the case of the DescribeConcept operation, users are assisted in their comprehension of obscure or ambiguous metadata terms, by being presented with a descriptive popup when they hover the mouse over it. The DescribeConcept operation is of course predicated on the existence of a definition for a particular keyword within the thesauri being queried.

Contrary to the first three operations, which are being utilized at the user interface level and during query formulation, the GetSynonyms operation works in the background and aims at better and more inclusive results retrieval. Specifically, after the selection of a keyword to query the system with, but before submitting the search term to the backend, a GetSynonyms operation is performed to retrieve other terms that are semantic synonyms for the original search term.

The query is expanded with these additional terms in order to retrieve more resources that will satisfy the user’s query. This type of functionality is particularly useful in discovering results in languages other than the one in which the query term was expressed.

Training Material

Follow a Training Module on the INSPIRE Geoportal in the eENVplus e-learning platform.

Access the INSPIRE Geoportal

Try the eENVplus INSPIRE Geoportal instance and view the Integration with the eENVplus Thesaurus Framework

INSPIRE Geoportal »