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Introduction  (GEMINI 2.3, June 2018)

This section of the website is for those producing or maintaining metadata for geographic information.

It describes the requirements and guidance for metadata conforming to the UK standard known as UK GEMINI. Conformance to GEMINI should ensure conformance to the INSPIRE Implementing Rules. UK specific guidance is provided.

Both UK GEMINI and the INSPIRE Technical Guidance have been developed from the International Standard ISO 19115:2003 Geographic information - Metadata, with supplementary material from ISO 19119:2005 Geographic information - Services. The XML encoding follows ISO 19139:2007 Geographic information - Metadata - XML encoding.

If you’re thinking, why GEMINI? Why not just use the INSPIRE Metadata guidance or the ISO standards? Click here for some reasons.

The requirements and guidance are comprehensive and accessible whether the metadata is about datasets and dataset series, or services. It should prove of value not only to those documenting metadata about geographic data and services, but also those responsible for encoding the metadata. Note that GEMINI (and the INSPIRE Guidance) are about metadata for datasets, series, and services (collectively, 'resources'); not everything in a GEMINI record can be assumed to be true individually for each feature instance in the resource. The underlying ISO standards (19115, 19139) do allow for metadata at the instance level.

The information here has been derived from a number of sources originally created as standalone documents which partially overlapped in their scope. For GEMINI 2.3, the content of these documents has been aggregated and presented in a more consistent and complete manner. The original documents relating to GEMINI 2.2 and the INSPIRE Implementing Rules remain available on the AGI and UK Location websites. This work was sponsored by Defra, and carried out by members of the AGI GEMINI Working Group.

Here is a summary of changes from earlier versions.

Here is a summary of the GEMINI elements (similar to Table 1 and Table 2 in GEMINI 2.2).

Note: in GEMINI 2.3, the GEMINI Element number is called "GEMINI id"; the actual numbers have not changed, where the same element was in GEMINI 2.2.

How to use

If you are:

  • new to metadata then follow this link to gain a general introduction to metadata for geographic information before going any further. The glossary of terms and list of references may also be useful;

  • starting to compile metadata conforming to UK GEMINI2 and are unfamiliar with the standard, then follow this link to understand the scope, terms used and the requirements and also this one which provides general guidance;

  • familiar with UK GEMINI and require specific information about the requirements and guidance for the metadata elements, then follow one of these links: to describe datasets or series or for services;

  • encoding UK GEMINI metadata in XML, then general guidance is supplemented with detailed guidance for each metadata element at datasets or series or for services

  • quality assuring metadata, then information on common metadata errors can found here.

  • Schematron rules which check many of the constraints in GEMINI is available on GitHub (free link), under a Creative Commons license.


This is a new service which we hope will provide better and more accessible information for the metadata compiler and also lead to improvements in the quality of metadata collected. By publishing the content on the web, it will mean that any changes, such as those to the INSPIRE Implementing Rules can be published more quickly.

We realise that the various aspects of the website could be improved and that there may be some errors and inconsistencies in the content, therefore we would like to hear from you if you spot any of these or you would like to see improvements in terms of presentation and usability.

Please send any comments to

Last updated: May 2018