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Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Call for sustained funding to invest in pan-European maps for a data-driven Europe

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National providers of geospatial information are calling for sustained funding for pan-European mapping to ensure that the power of official location data can be unlocked for the benefit of all.

The importance of investment in trusted and reliable geospatial data to realise the EU’s decade of action was demonstrated by members of EuroGeographics during a special debate for MEPs and policy-makers at the European Parliament. EuroGeographics is the not-for-profit membership association for the European National Mapping, Cadastral and Land Registry Authorities.

Opening the discussion, Cristian Bușoi, Chair of the European Parliament’s Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE), said: “Data is an essential resource for economic growth, competitiveness, innovation, job creation and societal progress in general. The entire European Strategy for Data and legislative packages, scrutinised by the ITRE Committee that I am chairing, focuses ultimately on putting people first in developing technology, and defending and promoting European values and rights in the digital world.”

“All data producers, and especially public data providers, must ensure that their data is ready to underpin this decade of action. They have an immense responsibility to ensure that their data meets citizens’ needs and supports national and European bodies to address the challenges they are facing.”

“It is not enough to possess the data It must be widely accessible, reusable, trustworthy and secure. This is what EuroGeographics is doing with its latest project – Open Maps For Europe which I am sure will be very successful.”

Colin Bray, President, EuroGeographics said: “Members’ data is fundamental to the everyday lives of people across Europe. From realising national climate targets and biodiversity plans, and responding to natural disasters, to managing Covid recovery, and enabling multimodal transport strategies and digital transformation, they are providing maps for a data-driven Europe. The issues we face extend beyond national boundaries and you can count on us to provide the most accurate and up to date information available.”

“Our Open Maps For Europe project addresses the challenges of knowing where to find and access trusted interoperable geospatial open data from multiple official sources. It demonstrates how our members can work together to produce pan-European open data by sharing the lessons learnt and best practice, whilst also providing national open data beyond borders. In doing so, it is realising the benefits of the Open Data Public Sector Information (PSI) Directive which specifically identifies geospatial as a category of high value datasets.”

“Our challenge now is to meet the needs of users in a way that can be sustained for the benefit of all. By investing in the collection, management, coordination and intelligent use, the power of location data can be leveraged for the benefit of all.”

“By recognising the value of location data and committing to funding, we can create appropriate data infrastructures to enable a sustainable, safer, and prosperous European society.”

During the event, case studies were presented by:

• The National Institute of Geographic and Forest Information on how ‘Geo-common’ strategy supports major Lidar and land use projects.

• The Netherlands Cadastre, Land Registry and Mapping Agency to provide an insight into potential of solar energy,

• General Directorate for Cadastre Spain to demonstrate the value of cadastral information in managing natural disasters,

• Ordnance Survey Ireland to highlight a data sharing platform at the heart of national response to Covid-19.

• National Geographic Institute, Belgium on its contribution to Belgian’s National Access Point for multimodal transport information,

• Danish Agency for Data Supply and Infrastructure to show how integrated government data across sectors is strengthening digital society.

All case studies are available at: https://eurogeographics.org/more-than-maps-case-studies/

For information about the Open Maps For Europe Project, which is co-financed by the Connecting Europe Facility of the European Union, visit https://www.mapsforeurope.org/

EuroGeographics is an international not-for-profit organisation (AISBL/ IVZW under Belgian Law. BCE registration: 833 607 112) and the membership association for the European National Mapping, Cadastral and Land Registry Authorities.

Open Maps For Europe is coordinated by EuroGeographics, the voice of European National Mapping, Cadastral and Land Registration Authorities, in partnership with the National Geographic Institute (NGI) Belgium. It is co-financed by the Connecting Europe Facility of the European Union.

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