From Wikicap - European Commission

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The Land Parcel Identification System (LPIS), is the GIS that allows IACS to geolocate, display and spatially integrate its many data. It thus contains many spatial data sets from multiple sources and of different nature. To support the appropriate level of compatibility between these, it is necessary to describe some basic properties of these spatial data sets and how they behave in framework of the IACS. Having in mind the possibilities of technological applications, this document is addressing various appearance and formats of IACS spatial data:

  • how to manage and reuse them, once created, for different purposes without creating duplicates nor redundancy,
  • how to respect the mix of data and business rules,
  • how to enable responsible authorities to communicate across different aid schemes and implementations.

The issue of compatibility and management of different data sets has to be carefully assessed if these come from sources at different scales for they may be incompatible. For example, although GIS provides the technology for overlaying coverages digitised from maps at different scales, as well as vector data measured with the use of GNSS and transferred to a spatial DB, this would not be a very useful exercise due to differences in accuracy, precision and possible generalization. GIS does not limit the use of many type of data related to the same geographical area to perform the analysis. But when a new dataset is brought to the GIS, the system imports not only the data, but also the error that the data contains. Best practices to ensure compatibility within a single system, prefer that data sets should be developed using the same methods of data capture, storage, manipulation and editing. This guidance should help all stakeholders to understand the consequences of capturing spatial data for IACS and the resulting level of their positional/temporal/thematic accuracy.


The scope of this guidance is to document the compatibility rules that apply to the spatial processing of individual IACS feature types as well as the business rules that apply to spatial operations (intersections, topology) of the so-called layers of these data. Any information stored in IACS that holds a spatial attribute is affected by these rules. It consists of 3 chapter:

  • dealing with data acquisition and storage,
  • dealing with data operations by using layers,
  • maintaining the positional accuracy of the IACS.

Ultimately, the scope of this guidance is to outline the essential conceptual rules and technical choices to follow in order to respond to the following generic challenges:

  • how to combine spatial information from different themes (data sets) represented by layers inside a GIS to obtain consistent and meaningful results, given the limitations of the source data,
  • what principles and rules need to be defined and respected to integrate information in a meaningful way and produce results with the required quality,
  • what are the conditions for successfully integrating spatial data and correctly determining areas in the scope of IASC/LPIS.

The compatibility of layers elaborated in this technical guidance relies on the spatial attributes of the LPIS data and is very dependent on the absolute positional accuracy of their coordinates. By contrast, standalone non-GIS operations such as OTSC area measurements, depend on relative positional accuracy and such methodologies and their results are not concerned with compatibility of layers.


Article 70. of Regulation (EU) 1306/2013 – (1) The identification system for agricultural parcels shall be established on the basis of maps, land registry documents or other cartographic references. Use shall be made of computerised geographical information system techniques, including aerial or spatial orthoimagery, with a homogenous standard that guarantees a level of accuracy that is at least equivalent to that of cartography at a scale of 1:10 000 and, as from 2016, at a scale of 1:5 000, while taking into account the outline and condition of the parcel. This shall be fixed in accordance with existing Union standards. (2) Member States shall ensure that the identification system for agricultural parcels contains a reference layer to accommodate ecological focus areas.

Article 33. of Regulation (EU) 1307/2013 – (1) For the purposes of the activation of payment entitlements provided for in Article 32(1), the farmer shall declare the parcels corresponding to the eligible hectares accompanying any payment entitlement.

Article 5. of Delegated Regulation (EU) No 640/2014 – (5) The GIS shall operate on the basis of a national coordinate reference system as defined in Directive 2007/2/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council which permits standardised measurement and unique identification of agricultural parcels throughout the Member State concerned. Where different coordinate systems are used, they shall be mutually exclusive and each of them shall ensure the consistency between items of information which refer to the same location.

Data interoperability in the spatial data infrastructures is documented by the INSPIRE Generic Conceptual Model (

In particular, this technical guidance focuses on object referencing modelling and consistency between data. In the background, the components spatial and temporal aspects and coordinate referencing and units model are briefly touched.

Terms and definitions

geospatial feature - abstraction of a class of real world phenomena. This acts as the starting point for modelling of geographic information into a digital representation of real world entities/features. In GIS, a feature has spatial/temporal attributes. Examples of spatial features are things that can be placed in time and space, including buildings, parcels, trees, forest, crops, and so on;

agricultural area - means any area taken up by arable land, permanent grassland and permanent pasture, or permanent crops (Article 4. of Regulation (EU) 1307/2013); these eligible hectares represent land cover classes;

agricultural parcel - means a continuous area of land, declared by one farmer, which does not cover more than one single crop group; however, where a separate declaration of the use of an area within a crop group is required in the context of Regulation (EU) No 1307/2013, that specific use shall if necessary further limit the agricultural parcel; the agricultural parcels represents an land use instance;

controlled overlap – ortho-projected area which is covered by several geometric representations of different features, but not counted more than once and semantically justified by the business rules.


  • BPS: basic payment scheme
  • CRS: coordinate reference system
  • CwRS: control with remote sensing
  • DEM: digital elevation model
  • DN: digital number
  • DORIS: doppler orbitography and radio positioning integrated by satellite
  • DTM: digital terrain model
  • EFA: ecological focus area
  • EGNOS: European geostationary navigation overlay service
  • GCP: ground control points
  • GIO: GMES Initial Operations
  • GIS: geographic information system
  • GLONASS: global navigation satellite system
  • GNNS: global navigation satellite system
  • GPS: global positioning system
  • GSD: ground sampling distance
  • LAU: land administration units
  • LF: landscape features
  • LPIS: land parcel information system
  • MMU: minimum mapping unit
  • NUTS: nomenclature of units for territorial statistics
  • PG ELP: permanent grassland on established local practices
  • RDBMS: relational database management system
  • RMSE: root mean square error
  • RP: reference parcel
  • SAR: synthetic aperture radar

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