ELF specifications

ELF will provide the following types of specifications:

  • ELF data specifications for Regional/Global and Master level of detail
  • Data maintenance and processing specifications
  • ELF product/service specifications

The ELF data specifications (ELF DS) describe the conceptual data model for creating harmonised cross-border, cross-theme and cross-resolution pan-European reference data from national contributions. Thus, the ELF DS are important to ensure a coordinated approach regarding harmonisation of the NMCA’s data and services in matters of content, geometric resolution and quality. When adopted by data providers the ELF provides INSPIRE compliant data for Europe. They accommodate an "NMCA profile for INSPIRE" at different levels of detail.


The ELF DS are accompanied by data maintenance and processing specifications which define the processes between the actors in order to achieve the data interoperability and harmonisation required for the pan-European products and services. These specifications will support the one-stop production of, and access to seamless, consistent and up-to-date authoritative topographic, administrative and cadastral reference data. The concepts of these interoperability processes encompass:

  • Transformation
  • Data aggregation and edge-matching (cross-border consistency)
  • Data quality management and evaluation
  • Data generalization (cross-resolution consistency)
  • Maintenance of Unique identifiers and lifecycle information enabling incremental updates
  • Visualization

Finally, the ELF DS provide the basis for creating user-oriented pan-European ELF products and services. While based on the ELF DS the product and service specifications may vary in their geographic and thematic scope depending on the demands and requirements of the users.


Multi-lingual issues will be addressed in the specifications and services, e.g. the EuroGeoNames component of the GeoLocator provides the opportunity to search using geographic names regardless of the user language.


The following table lists the current ELF specifications.


Title Description
Data Maintenance and Processing

The ELF data maintenance and processing specification describes the data maintenance and production workflow that will be applied on the national reference datasets of the NMCAs in order to insure a better data interoperability and harmonization at cross-border level when providing data on the ELF platform.

ELF Cadastre

This product specification describes the product “ELF Cadastral Index Map”.

ELF Cadastral Index Map is a view service that provides a simplified and harmonised view of footprints of cadastral parcels geometry combined with other basic information as administrative units, addresses and buildings for pan-European use.


It will permit also to identify the features and to obtain both

ELF Basemap

ELF basemap is a pyramid of digital maps, at different zoom levels, built from ELF harmonised view services.
View services are available as the ELF Topographic and Administrative BaseMap Services. It is designed for use as a background mapping product in combination with other user specific information.
ELF Basemap provides a window into Europen Location Framework.

ELF Data Specifications

The ELF data specification aims at facilitating the interoperability of topographic, administrative and cadastral reference data according to the requirements set in the INSPIRE directive with all its regulations and to other user requirements at the European and global levels. It is, therefore, understood as the conceptual data model for creating harmonised cross-border, cross-theme and cross-resolution pan-European reference data from national contributions at different levels of detail (LoD).

ELF Data Model

The ELF data model and the application schemas strongly build upon the INSPIRE specifications and constitute a scale-independent data model.

ELF International Boundaries

ELF aims at providing the specification of the data maintenance and processing. One part of this process is the edge matching of topographic reference data at cross-border areas. In order to achieve this, a dataset of agreed international boundaries is necessary. This specification describes the ELF International Boundaries (ELF IB). 

Service specification for ELF GeoLocator

This specification describes the architecture, data contents and functionalities of the ELF GeoLocator service.


The ELF GeoLocator service is a georeferencing service that serves multilingual European geographical names data that has been collected from several European countries. In addition to the geographical names data, the ELF GeoLocator service also makes use of data that has been collected from the INSPIRE/ELF themes Addresses (AD) and Administrative Units (AU).

The Competitiveness & Innovation framework Programme (CIP) Information and Communication Technologies Policy Support Programme (ICT PSP) Open Data and open access to scientific information (Project reference 325140)

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