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New gateway connects users to Open Maps for Europe

March 18, 2021  - By 0 Comments
Image: EuroGeographics

Image: EuroGeographics

Free-to-use maps from more than 40 European countries will be made available through a new online gateway.

Open Maps for Europe will signpost and provide easy access to pan-European open data created using official map, geospatial and land information.

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

Users will be able to access the data, created by the not-for-profit membership association, through an online interface developed by thinkWhere. The specialist in open source geographic information system (GIS) technologies will deliver the enhanced gateway for discovering, viewing, licensing and downloading the open datasets after winning an open tender.

The open data will include topographic data, a digital elevation model, imagery, a cadastral index map, and a regional gazetteer. The first maps are expected to be available in summer 2021.

“As the official national sources of map, cadastral and land information, our members’ data is fundamental to the everyday lives of people across Europe,”said Angela Baker, program manager, Data Access and Integration, EuroGeographics. “We may not always realise it, but their authoritative information underpins our public services, provides certainty of property ownership and helps to save precious time and potentially save lives when responding to emergencies. In an ever-connected world, it is also increasingly used in a wide range of applications relied upon by both citizens and businesses.”

“The Open Data Directive recognises that the value of data lies in its use and re-use. By providing easy access to free to use harmonised maps for Europe, our members want to boost the development of these innovative services. Their aim is to encourage greater use of their official geospatial data to drive market development and economic growth, and increase competitiveness by reducing costs.

“By working to ensure their data is interoperable, readily available and easily accessible, they are demonstrating a commitment to delivering Open Maps for Europe both now and in the future.”

Alan Moore, Chief Executive, thinkWhere added: “We are delighted to be working with EuroGeographics and its members on the Open Maps for Europe project where the primary aim is to drive up the use of official geospatial and open data.”

“Our mission is to make geographic data highly accessible, easy to use and an essential part of your information architecture. Collaborating with EuroGeographics and its members we will harness the power of our cloud-based geospatial data infrastructure and drive the development of a user-centric portal that makes it easy to find, view, publish and share the rich suite of pan European digital mapping, cadastral and topographic datasets.”

Open Maps for Europe runs until Dec. 31, 2022.

EuroGeographics is an international not-for-profit organization and the membership association for the European National Mapping, Cadastral and Land Registry Authorities. It brings together members from 46 countries, covering the whole of geographical Europe.

Tracy Cozzens

About the Author:

Senior Editor Tracy Cozzens joined GPS World magazine in 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.

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