INSPIRE Download Service


The BGS has embraced European Union (EU) and UK initiatives to increase access to its data and information holdings. One such initiative is INSPIRE, an EU directive (a legal act) that aims to enhance the sharing of environmental spatial information among public sector organisations and better facilitate public access to environmental information across Europe.

BGS has followed the standards set by INSPIRE for making environmental spatial data more widely available to discover, view and download. One of the methods by which data can be made available under INSPIRE is via a pre-defined download service. A pre-defined service consists of a single parent feed (the download service feed), with links to child feeds (dataset feeds). Each child feed describes a single dataset, and contains links to download the dataset in one or more coordinate reference systems. Also, an INSPIRE / OpenSearch compliant search engine allows a subset of datasets to be found using specially constructed URLs.

Download service feed

To see all datasets that are available via the service, see the download service feed.

Search engine

Application developers can query the download service's search engine using the URL patterns described in the service's OpenSearch description document.

End users can also use the search engine. The form below can be used to generate suitable URLs. For instance, to generate a URL suitable for use in a feed reader application:

  1. Enter the criteria that interest you
  2. Choose the XML results format
  3. Click Generate URL
  4. Copy and paste the URL into your application
Search Form

How the search engine works

Results can be returned in XML, HTML or zipped shapefile format. The search engine's behaviour follows the INSPIRE download service specification:

  • Where no datasets are found matching the specificed criteria, a HTML results page will be displayed indicating there were no results
  • Where a single result is found, the engine will redirect to that result. XML requests redirect to the appropriate dataset feed, HTML to the appropriate BGS metadata webpage and zip/shapefile to the dataset download itself.
  • If there is more than one result, the results will either be displayed in a download service feed (for XML requests), or a HTML results page (for HTML and zip/shapefile requests).

Terms of use

These data are delivered under the terms of the Open Government Licence, subject to the following acknowledgement accompanying the reproduced BGS materials: "Contains British Geological Survey materials © NERC [year]". Contact us if you create something new and innovative that could benefit others