Spatial Data Infrastructure



GRID-Geneva archives contain numerous high quality geospatial data sets at various scales (global, continental, national and subnational) on a variety of environment related themes. The data are provided free of charge to users around the world.



The main geospatial data developed and managed by UNEP/GRID-Geneva are directly accessible through the following links:


  • is the main GRID-Geneva metadata catalog. This catalog will enable users to search all geospatial data of GRID-Geneva (projects and core geospatial data: WD+EU).
  • is the main GRID-Geneva services registry. All services (WMS, WFS, WCS, WPS) will be registered in this catalog and will enable users to search geospatial services.
  • will provide the main search mechanism across all (heterogeneous) resources of GRID-Geneva. Users will be able to search all geospatial data, all geospatial services, and all other documents (e.g., reports, posters, …) managed at GRID-Geneva.
  • Environmental Data Explorer (EDE): The Environmental Data Explorer is the authoritative source for data sets used by UNEP and its partners in the Global Environment Outlook (GEO) report and other integrated environment assessments. It is managed in support to UNEP-live.
    It is available at
  • Preview: The PREVIEW Global Risk Data Platform is a multiple agencies effort to share spatial data information on global risk from natural hazards. Users can visualise, download or extract data on past hazardous events, human & economical hazard exposure and risk from natural hazards. It covers tropical cyclones and related storm surges, drought, earthquakes, biomass fires, floods, landslides, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions.
    It is available at:


Besides, in collaboration with the University of Geneva and through various research, projects, UNEP/GRID-Geneva is developing and managing the UNIGE/GRID-SDI in order to make geospatial and tabular databases available to end-users.


A complete list of the web services available in this UNIGE/GRID-SDI is available here.



 These geospatial data are organised in a Spatial Data infrastructure (SDI), that could be defined as the base collection of technologies, data, human resources, policies, institutional arrangements, and partnerships that enable the availability, exchange of and access to geographically-related information using common practices, protocols, and specifications. SDI consists of a framework that enables users with different mandates and disciplines to operate in a cooperative and cohesive manner to acquire access, retrieve, analyze and disseminate geospatial data and information in an easy and secure way. It particularly helps to improve the efficiency of development, management, use and maintenance of geospatial databases.


A key SDI Component




The concept of SDIs reside in “working smarter, not harder” by reusing data, technical capabilities, skills, intellectual effort and capital, through the sharing the costs of people, technology and infrastructure. SDIs rely on the development of policies, technologies, data, common standards, standard practices, protocols and specifications such as those of the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC).