View dataset definition

Identifier WISE_SpatialData
Short name WISE - Spatial data
Registration status Released 18 May 2017
Reference URL
Name WISE - Spatial Data (WISE-5)
Keywords Water
Short Description Spatial reference data sets for WISE (Water Information System for Europe).
Definition Includes the spatial data sets for:
- Monitoring sites
- Surface and groundwater water bodies
- River basin districts and sub-units

Includes all spatial objects used in the water quality (WISE-4), water quantity (WISE-3), water quality in transitional, coastal and marine waters (WISE-6), biology in transitional and coastal waters (WISE-2) and emissions to water (WISE-1) reporting.

This data dictionary is provided for information purposes only. Refer to for the formal data models.
Methodology for obtaining data OVERVIEW:

The reporting of data on water quality, water quantity or emissions to water data (under the WISE-4, WISE-3, WISE-6, WISE-2 or WISE-1 data flows, respectively) requires the reporting of the appropriate spatial data, i.e. the location and characteristics of monitoring sites, water bodies and other spatial units (e.g. river basin districts and their sub-units).

Under WISE-5, the spatial data can be reported once and then be used across the annual WISE SoE data flows.

Furthermore, the spatial reference data can be reported at any time (e.g. if an update is required due to changes in the monitoring network, or whenever more accurate or complete information is available).

1. Data content

WISE-5 uses the same data model as the Water Framework Directive - River Basin Management Plans - 2016 Spatial data reporting.

The relevant spatial objects are monitoring sites, water bodies and other spatial units (such as river basin districts and sub-units).

The following spatial data sets are required:
- MonitoringSite, for the reporting of water quality (WISE-4), water quality in transitional, coastal and marine waters (WISE-6), water quantity (WISE-3), biology in transitional and coastal waters (WISE-2) monitoring sites and riverine input loads (WISE-1) flux stations;
- SurfaceWaterBody and/or SurfaceWaterBodyLine, for surface water bodies;
- GroundWaterBody, for groundwater bodies;
- RiverBasinDistrict and SubUnit, for river basin districts and their sub-units, which are used as spatial units in the reporting of emissions to water (WISE-1) and water quantity data (WISE-3).

Note that the following WFD spatial data sets are NOT currently required under WISE-5:
- The centrelines of surface water bodies, forming a hydrographic network;
- The delineation of horizons, for groundwater bodies that have different horizons;
- The delineation of protected areas.

Countries reporting under WFD may choose to report all the necessary spatial data under the WFD 2016 reporting.

WISE-5 can however be used for the reporting of historical data (e.g. discontinued monitoring sites previously reported under WISE SoE) or for the reporting of spatial objects not included in the WFD reporting (e.g. small lakes that are not WFD water bodies).

Countries NOT reporting under WFD should report all their spatial data sets under WISE-5.
(Terms like river basin district or sub-unit should be interpreted by analogy.)

Under WISE-5, all the spatial objects identified in the WISE-4, WISE-3, WISE-6, WISE-2 and WISE-1 data flows must be reported.

Countries are encouraged to provide a complete territorial coverage for river basin districts and sub-units.

Countries are also encouraged to provide as complete a coverage as possible for surface and groundwater bodies.

2. Hierarchical relations between spatial objects

The WISE spatial objects follow a hierarchical relation:
- Each monitoring site is assigned to one and only one water body or marine region or sub-region;
- Each surface water body is assigned to one and only one sub-unit;
- Each groundwater body is assigned to one and only one river basin district;
- Each sub-unit is assigned to one and only one river basin district.

3. Life-cycle information about spatial objects

Spatial objects may change: a monitoring site can be replaced by another nearby station monitoring the same water body, identifiers (codes) may change, a more accurate delineation of the geometry of a water body may become available after a survey, the spatial extent of a river basin district may change, etc.

It is important to keep track of this changes in the European data sets.
This is specially important with regard to the monitoring sites: for example, if the identifier of the site changes, the existing time series is broken unless that change is reported.

In the WISE spatial data model, attributes are provided to allow the reporting of such changes.
Please refer to the WISE GIS Guidance for further information.

4. Reporting format and delivery

The spatial data files must be submitted as valid GML files, conformant with the schemas available in Data
Dictionary schemas (

(Note that the current data dictionary is used for information purposes only, and not to generate the GML schemas).

The spatial data files can be prepared as ESRI shapefiles. The shapefile templates available in the reporting resources page ( must be used.

The shapefiles can be converted to GML using the conversion tools available in the same page. The GML files can then be uploaded to the appropriate envelope in CDR.

Upload the data files to the Central Data Repository at your country's collection in Create the envelope in the collection /eea/wise_soe/wise5.

Further documentation is available at

If you have any questions about the format and content of the data request please contact WISE-SoE helpdesk, e-mail:

5. Other recommendations

The quality of the data sets should be evaluated by the Data Providers before the submission.
Attention must be paid to the spatial alignment across national and international borders for the purpose of producing a harmonised European level dataset. Reference data sets area available to support this alignment.

The coordinate reference system for spatial data is ETRS89-GRS80 or ETRS89-LAEA.
For areas outside the scope of ETRS89, WGS 84 must be used.

Metadata must be provided for each spatial data file, according to the INSPIRE metadata profile.

The spatial data files must follow the naming convention defined in the WISE GIS Guidance.

Spatial data must be submitted as complete national datasets (i.e. in a single national data set and not separated per river basin district or administrative units).
Planned updating frequency continuously
Version Version 6.0.2 of 28 October 2015

Data model

Click thumbnail to view large version of the data model

Dataset tables

Full name Short name
Monitoring site MonitoringSite
Surface water body SurfaceWaterBody
Surface water body (polyline) SurfaceWaterBodyLine
Groundwater body GroundWaterBody
Sub-unit SubUnit
River basin district RiverBasinDistrict

Complex attributes

Submit Organisation European Environment Agency