- It is an infrastructure for spatial data in the European Community.
- It establishes a legal framework for the creation and operation of spatial data infrastructure at European Union level in order to develop and implement Community policies at different levels and to provide public information.
- It is intended, in particular, for strategies and activities that have a direct or indirect impact on the environment, but is also open to other sectors.
- To make essential spatial information available to the public as well as to the institutions of the European Union.
- To reduce obstacles to the exchange of data between public authorities, especially in the field of the environment.
- It is based on the infrastructures for spatial data in the Member States, and has a common geoportal in the European Union.
- It must be possible to combine data from different sources and share data between different users and applications.
- The conditions under which spatial data can be acquired shall not unduly restrict their use.
- It must be easy to find what spatial data are available, to assess their suitability for a specific task and to know the conditions of use.
- It includes spatial data the holder of which is a public authority, or which is managed on his behalf.
- It includes the data layers listed in Annexes I to III to the Directive.
- Spatial data sets, spatial data services, etc. shall comply with international standards.
- Services must be available to the EU institutions, to the public sector at all levels and also to the public.
- Spatial data sets and services shall be interchangeable.
- The creation of metadata is obligatory.