​​​​​​​​​Consuming Ins​pire Services


1. The List of the INSPIRE themes

Below is the list of the 34 INSPIRE data themes. Data themes implemented using ESRI technology (ArcGIS for INSPIRE), are shown in bold. The rest of the data themes are implemented as GML file packages. Data themes in light color have not been implemented at all.


2. DATA themes supported by ESRI

a. INSPIRE view services

View services can be consumed by any client supporting WMS specification. The description of the INSPIRE geoportal Map Viewer, ArcGIS for Desktop and QGIS follows.


Map Viewer

In a web browser go to the INSPIRE Geoportal of the "DLS PORTAL"

(http://eservices.dls.moi.gov.cy/index.html#/national/inspiregeoportalmapviewer) and in Search tab type the name of the INSPIRE theme and click on the Search button icon1.png . In Results, find the appropriate theme (in brackets "VIEW DATA SERVICE" must be specified) and click on the name. Under the name the buttons will appear.


Now click on the "Add To Map" and a new window with Map Viewer and appropriate data will be opened.

Press the icon icon2.png so as you see the layer list, as shown in the next figure.




ArcGIS for Desktop (ArcMap)

As afore-mentioned, find the appropriate theme in INSPIRE geoportal but now click on the button "Open".


Copy the URL from browser (only the part in front of the question mark), as shown with yellow color in the following figure:



Open ArcMap and in ArcCatalog window, browse to "GIS Servers" and double click on "Add WMS Server".


Paste the copied URL in field URL, then click on "Get Layers" and finally press "OK", as shown on the next figure.


There will be a new connection to INSPIRE service created in "GIS Servers". You can by drag and drop add to the Table of Contents of ArcMap the entire "INSPIRE View Service" or expand it and add only one layer.




qgis.png Using this button you Add WMS layer


Give a name to your connection and paste the url (use the URL already copied). Press OK


Select your connection from the drop down list, then click Connect and you will get a list of the feature types included in the specific Data Theme. Select one or all and Add in the map window.



b. INSPIRE download services

On the next pages, there will be a description on how to download an INSPIRE service, using ArcGIS for Desktop (prerequisite: Data Interoperability Extension by FME) and QGIS.


ArcGIS for Desktop (ArcMap)

Browse or search the appropriate data theme in INSPIRE Geoportal (in brackets "DOWNLOAD DATA SERVICE" must be specified) and click on the name.


Click on "Download" button and copy the URL (only the part in front of the question mark) from the new window that appears (an xml file) in a browser (new tab), like the figure that follows:




Open ArcMap and in ArcCatalog window browse to "Interoperability Connections" and click on "Add Interoperability Connection"(please note that "Data Interoperability" must be checked in Extensions).


In Format choose "WFS (Web Feature Service)" and click on Parameters and fill in these items:

  • URL: copied from browser, ensure if the copied URL to the properties window is correct (sometimes URL is duplicated within itself and an error appears)
  • WFS Version: 1.1.0
  • Feature types: choose the right from dropdown list
  • Max Features: consider how many features is optimal to download

Click OK and then again OK. Now the Interoperability connection is created. You can expand it.


You can see more layers than you expect. Add entire connection or even one layer to TOC (table of contents) in ArcMap. ArcMap starts downloading the features from server. When data has been downloaded, you can right click on connection and choose Refresh. After refresh, only appropriate layers should be displayed in the connection.


If the service contains large amount of data, it is necessary to set up Parameters "Use Search Envelope" (as in figure below). In this case, the client firstly downloads data from this envelope and then data from the actual extent of ArcMap.






In QGIS, user has to first install WFS 2.0 Client plugin, in order to be able to consume the download service.

The procedure is as follows:

In QGIS, from the main menu select Plugins, Manage and Install Plugins.




The icon in red circle should appear in your toolbar.



The user should then click on this icon.

Select the whole download url adrress of the data theme of your interest


and paste it in the field WFS 2.0 OnlineResource, as shown in next figure.


On field Feature Types, there should be a drop down list, in case more than one feature type exists in data theme.

In fields Feature Limit, change/increase the number of features for data themes expected to have greater number of records.

Also, in SRS you may change the EPSG:: in 3048 (ETRS89, TM, 36N)

Finally, click on GetFeatures.


In case there are more than one feature types in the Data Theme, then this procedure should be applied for all of them (one by one feature type).


3.Data Themes not supported by ESRI


a.  INSPIRE view services

The procedure is the same as for ESRI Supported themes. Please see the chapter 2. INSPIRE view services.

b.  INSPIRE download services

Download is now implemented as GML file packages. These packages can be downloaded by a link placed in ATOM feed XML which is downloaded by clicking on Download button in the INSPIRE geoportal.

GML files can be displayed using ArcGIS for Desktop (ArcMap) although in some cases it does not display them properly.

FME Data Inspector software (part of ESRI Data Interoperability Extension - DIE) gives better results. The cons are the necessity of Data Interoperability license and the lack of availability of usual GIS functionality, e.g. a setting of visualization for layers.

The best experiences consuming GML files are using QGIS (an open source free download software). This powerful application allows loading GMLs without any problems regarding geometry.

How to download data

Browse or search the appropriate theme in the INSPIRE Geoportal of the "DLS PORTAL" (after data theme name "DOWNLOAD DATA SERVICE" should be specified) and click on the name.


Under the name the buttons will appear. Click on "Download" and XML file will be downloaded. Open it in a new browser and find the link to the XML.


You select and copy this url and paste it in a new browser window (new tab). You get a new xml file.





Now you find the link to the GML file (see in figure above)


If you select the url and paste it in a new browser window then you have the GML file downloaded (copied) on your disk (Downloads)






ARGIS for Desktop

From the Interoperability Connections, Add Interoperability Connection:


Choose appropriate format (GML) from dropdown list and copy the url in Dataset. Click ok. Add entire connection or even one layer to TOC (table of contents) of ArcMap (drag and drop). ArcMap starts downloading the features from server. When data have been downloaded you can right click on connection and choose Refresh. After refresh only appropriate layers should be displayed in your connection.


FME Data Inspector

You can open FME Data Inspector from any Spatial ETL tool or directly from file system ("c:\Program Files (x86)\ESRI\Data Interoperability (x86)\fmedatainspector.exe").

The easiest way to add the downloaded GML to Inspector is by drag and drop. Then a window with reader parameters appears in Inspector. This window is the same as in Data Interoperability Extension.


You can use default parameters and click on OK button. The data will be added to Inspector, as it shown in the following picture.


There is limited possibility of setting visualization or manipulation of data. But you can use "Select features and display information" i.pnginstead by clicking on any feature. Then you can see all information about it. In the picture below you can see attribute "contains{0}.xlink_href" which involves a list of values. Also the whole list is given.







Browse to downloaded GML file in windows explorer (downloads) and drag and drop the file into QGIS. If there are more object types in GML, the list of them appears (including non-spatial object types also).


Click on "Select All" and then on "OK". All object types will be added to QGIS..


You can use "Identify feature" to see the attributes of spatial data. The result is the same as in FME Data Inspector: