Role of trusted location data pinpointed as valuable resource to build a better future for all


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Data from official national sources is one of Europe’s most valuable resources in achieving a sustainable, safer and fairer society, MEPs have heard.

The showcase by members of EuroGeographics, the not-for-profit membership association for Europe’s National Mapping, Cadastral and Land Registry Authorities, highlighted their role providing fundamental information to implement the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It featured examples from Belgium, France, Germany and The Netherlands to demonstrate how location connects people with place for sustainable development, tackling climate change, creating digital twins, and developing intelligent transport systems.

Opening the event in the European Parliament, host Cristian Bușoi, MEP and Chair of Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) said: “Data holds tremendous importance for implementation of the SDGs; it enables us to monitor progress and shows us precisely where to intervene to gain momentum.”

“I commend the commitment of EuroGeographics, national geospatial information providers, and the UN-GGIM: Europe Executive Committee, to shape a stronger and more inclusive post 2030 development framework.”

“The European Union is putting great effort into enabling European citizens to live in dignity and peace, in a clean environment, and in economic prosperity. Full implementation of the UN’s 2030 Agenda is crucial to strengthen resilience and prepare for future potential shocks as we embark on the twin green and digital transitions.”

Colin Bray, President of EuroGeographics said: “The UN recognises that a strong global geospatial infrastructure is an essential enabler for achieving its 2030 Agenda.”

“To fully realise the benefits, we encourage even greater use of official geospatial data for the global indicators of the SDGs. And we strongly believe that geospatial information should be an integral component of the next development framework.”

“The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2023 Special Edition highlights data challenges, calls for more inclusive data for development, and states the need to strengthen coordination within national data ecosystems. The UN-endorsed Integrated Geospatial Information Framework – or IGIF, which is being implemented by many of our members, helps to address these issues.”

“The EuroGeographics-led project, Open Maps For Europe 2 (OME2) supports the ambitions of the IGIF by aligning the technical specifications for large-scale open data with the core recommendations for content proposed by UN-GGIM: Europe.”

OME2 provides a foundation for future pan-European high-value datasets.

It is developing a new production process and technical specification for free-to-use, edge-matched, interoperable data under a single open licence to create a prototype dataset covering 10 countries. The data will be delivered via the user interface built by the award-winning Open Maps For Europe project which was completed in 2022. The two-year project is co-funded by the European Union.

Tomaz Petek, Chair of the European regional committee of experts for United Nations Global Geospatial Information Management – UN-GGIM: Europe, added: “Our work on the Sustainable Development Goals showcases the added value of integrating geospatial information with other data to address the indicators, and provides technical and methodological solutions for common challenges.”

“The integration of geospatial data in the next development framework will not only make it stronger and more inclusive, but will also help realise the aspirations held by people around the world for a better future. UN-GGIM: Europe is committed to playing its part in accelerating the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals for present and future generations, turning our world towards a sustainable and resilient path by 2030.”

Mr Bray concluded: “Together with our members, we believe in a society empowered by the use of trusted geospatial data and services. Data from official national sources is therefore one of Europe’s most valuable resources in gaining momentum towards a sustainable, safer and fairer society.”

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.

OME2 is co-funded by the European Union.

It is being delivered by a consortium comprising: EuroGeographics; National Geographic Institute, Belgium; National Institute of Geographic and Forest Information, France; Hellenic Cadastre; General Directorate for the Cadastre, Spain; and Cadastre, Land Registry and Agency, The Netherlands.

Open Maps For Europe ended in 2022. It was co-financed by the Connecting Europe Facility of the European Union, and coordinated by EuroGeographics in partnership with the National Geographic Institute (NGI) Belgium.

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