The observation that spatial and environmental data relating to specific locations or geographic areas in the European Union (EU) have been difficult to find online is undisputed. Whether the EU INSPIRE Directive of 2007 which establishes an infrastructure to enable the sharing of spatial data and services to support European and national environmental policies will achieve its objectives is a topic of debate. The INSPIRE Directive was conceived and implemented to address identifiable challenges relating to environmental policies and data. Before the complete implementation of the Directive, it may be necessary to reflect on what progress have been achieved at a legal and policy level. The central argument of this paper is that legal and policy issues may have hindered the rapid and smooth implementation of the Directive. The implementation of the legal framework of the Directive provides salutary lessons. Evaluation reports from the European Commission and the four case studies demonstrably paint an encouraging future. The conclusion is that INSPIRE should foster good governance, use and sharing of environmental data and information for the common good of all Europeans.