Official geospatial data proves value during global pandemic

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Contributing to national Covid-19 responses has significantly raised awareness of official geospatial data, say Europe’s National Mapping, Cadastral and Land Registration Authorities.

More than 75% of members participating in EuroGeographics 2021 General Assembly said that helping to manage and monitor the global pandemic had raised the profile of their data. Around 60% believe that it will make it easier to explain its importance to policymakers, whilst 43% think the public have a better understanding of what authoritative data is.

At the annual conference of their membership association, European National Mapping, Cadastral and Land Registration Authorities reported four main contributions to national Covid-19 responses:

  • Provision of authoritative data
  • Working with other government departments
  • Implementation of new technologies or systems
  • Provision of expertise

Colin Bray, President, EuroGeographics said: “Whether you’ve downloaded a track and trace app or used your phone to avoid busy times on public transport, geographic data is helping us all to stop the spread of Covid-19.”

“EuroGeographics members are playing their part by delivering accurate, official land information and geospatial data and services. They have quickly adapted their datasets to meet the needs of a fast-moving situation to ensure those making difficult decisions can count on them for the most up to date information available. This has proved vital for responding to the global pandemic, keeping us connected and playing a central role in all our lives.”

Léa Bodossian, Secretary General and Executive Director, EuroGeographics added: “The global pandemic has redefined business as usual – from accelerating the adoption of new technologies to refocusing resources. As a community used to constant and far-reaching change, we have a proven ability to respond strategically, as well as operationally, to these new ways of working. Together, we must ensure this agility, as well as our data, is widely recognised, understood and used for maximum impact and benefit.”

“More than ever before, the world needs accurate data that it can trust is up to date, definitive and detailed. We know we cannot expect users to always come to us, so we continue to find new ways of achieving its widespread use across both the European and international systems.”

EuroGeographics annual review, which is published today (24 June 2021), contains many examples of how members are supporting pandemic response, as well as integrating information to provide insights for realising national climate targets and biodiversity plans, using satellite positioning for smarter, precision farming and the development of autonomous vehicles; and incorporating artificial intelligence technology into production processes to improve data quality. It is available at http://bit.ly/EuroGeographicsAR2020.

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