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Creating the INSPIRE View service map document

To create, serve, access, and use an INSPIRE View service, you will use a variety of ArcGIS for INSPIRE tools. The high-level steps for creating the INSPIRE View service are to first create an INSPIRE View service map document in ArcMap, and publish, set up, and configure an ArcGIS Server map service for it. After setting up the INSPIRE View service, see Use the INSPIRE View service for more information.


Setting up the INSPIRE View service map document and service does not require a geodatabase based on the INSPIRE geodatabase schema, as the software supports running INSPIRE View services on different data types. However, using the INSPIRE tools ArcMap add-in requires an Enterprise geodatabase or a geodatabase file with the INSPIRE schema to be present. For information on this schema, see Geodatabase template.

Creating the View service map document

The first step in creating an INSPIRE View service is to create an INSPIRE View service map document. To do this, add your INSPIRE tools to the toolbar, add layers to your map based on the INSPIRE geodatabase, and add any non-INSPIRE data. Details about each of these steps are discussed below.

If you are creating a map document based on data that is not related to the INSPIRE geodatabase template structure, use the standard ArcMap tools for configuring your map document. It is recommended that you use the GCS_ETRS_89 projection system for the data frame of the map. See the Add non-INSPIRE data to the map section below for more information..

Adding INSPIRE tools to ArcMap

The INSPIRE tools are designed to help you create map documents that meet INSPIREspecifications. Once you have installed the INSPIRE desktop extension, add the INSPIRE tools to ArcMap. Do this by starting ArcMap and opening the Customize menu. Hover over the Toolbars option and select INSPIRE Tools from the submenu that appears. An INSPIRE Tools dockable toolbar appears that has an Add INSPIRE Layer button in your ArcMap environment. This button opens a wizard that helps you add an INSPIRE layer to your map document.

Use the INSPIRE Layer wizard

The INSPIRE Layer wizard guides you through selecting a geodatabase and an INSPIRE layer to add to your map document. When you click the Add INSPIRE Layer button, the wizard appears.

The first screen prompts you to select a spatial database connection to an INSPIRE geodatabase. If there is no database connection established, you can create a connection through the file browser window that appears. Remember that only valid INSPIRE geodatabases can be used.

After a spatial database connection is selected or defined, an analysis of the tables and feature classes available from the selected database occurs. You can now select a layer from the INSPIRE layers field. The loaded INSPIRE layers are sorted alphabetically based on the INSPIRE themes and show as groups according to the INSPIRE Annex themes. You can select INSPIRE layers individually, or you can use the Select all layers button. After you select one or more INSPIRE layers and click Create, the selected layers appear in the ArcMap table of contents.

When you have added all the data you want to add, save the map document.


If you have selected complex INSPIRE layers, you'll notice that the group layers are stored in the table of contents or more layer objects represent a single INSPIRE layer. In the INSPIRE layer, there is no difference between the types of geometry that are part of the INSPIRE data model. A more common scenario is that point, line, and polygon objects display in an INSPIRE layer. On the other hand, ArcGIS feature classes only support one type of geometry per feature class, so a selection of an INSPIRE layer could result in different layers representing different geometry types in the table of contents in ArcMap. This characteristic of ArcGIS is handled in the representation of the INSPIRE layer through the INSPIRE View service capabilities. The structure of the table of contents created by the Add INSPIRE layer add-in should not be altered (for example, by deleting group layers, adjusting layers, and so on).

Adding non-INSPIRE data to the map

It is possible to add other data (for example, a file geodatabase's feature classes) to the map document. Remember that for those additional datasets, the INSPIRE-based properties of the INSPIRE View service (inspire_common:DEFAULT-Style, INSPIRE-metadata-Extension) are not available. This means that if you publish the map document with non-INSPIRE data as an INSPIRE View service, it is possible that your INSPIRE View service may not completely conform to INSPIRE specifications.


  • When using the as-is data types mode, it is expected that the a4icommon.xml workspace has been loaded in the geodatabase and that the features are using the EPSG:4258 coordinate system.
  • When creating the map document, the .mxd file can reference only one geodatabase.