More than two decades of cooperation and collaboration
EuroGeographics can trace its origins back more than 20 years with the creation of the Comitée Européen des Responsables de la Cartographie Officielle (CERCO) as a forum for sharing, discussing and resolving common problems. In 1993 a subsidiary, the Multi-purpose European Ground Related Information Network (MEGRIN) was established to manage pan-European projects including the development of web-based metadata ser-vices and integrated geographic databases.
It soon became clear that merging MEGRIN and CERCO would improve communications, team working and efficiency which led to the creation of a heavyweight consortium with more political influence within Europe than any other geospatial organisation – EuroGe-ographics. Formed in September 2000 by 37 countries, the Association today has 61 members who between them invest around €1.5 billion every year in the development of geographic reference data and whose expertise and advice is sought across the world.
In 2011, a change in status – from a French non-profit association to an ASIBL under Belgian law – complemented EuroGeographics’ move from Paris to Brussels, the heart of European policy and decision-making and consolidated its position as the European voice for geographic information.
A few highlights from the past 15 years:
1.The horizontal reference system (ETRS89) defined with EUREF adopted as a standard by the European Commission.
2. Map projections for Europe agreed with EUREF and adopted by the European Com-mission.
3.Delivery of our first product, Seamless Administrative Boundaries of Europe (SABE), the predecessor of EuroBoundaryMap, containing members’ official, definitive infor-mation and used for referencing statistical data and as background to geo-referenced da-tasets for population, political and economic analysis, asset management and thematic planning.
4. Increasing interest in our products and services reflects the continuing growth in a so-ciety increasingly underpinned by geographical information.
5. Our reports and projects continue to inform the implementation of INSPIRE.
6. Acknowledgement as the voice of European National Mapping, Land Registry and Ca-dastral Agencies ensures that members’ views and interests are represented in the Euro-pean Commission, Parliament and across the world.
7. Results from the successful completion of the EuroRoadS and Reference Information Specifications for Europe (RISE) projects used to implement INSPIRE.
8. Our national elevation data product, EuroDEM was completed in record time to provide a digital representation of the ground surface topography of 38 countries making it ideal for environmental change research, hydrologic modelling, resource monitoring, mapping and visualisation.
9.Our eContentplus proposal – ESDIN – was awarded €3.1 million funding from the Eu-ropean Commission with additional funding provided by the project partners, representing a significant investment in the future of the European Spatial Data Infrastructure.
10. Moving our head office to Brussels places us at the centre of European policy and decision making.
11. Together with 15 of our members, we are part of the project consortium working to de-liver the European Location Framework (ELF). This pan–European cloud platform and web service will enable access to harmonised data in cross-border applications.
12. A partnership agreement with the European Environment Agency means we are facil-itating access to members’ data for emergency and crisis response via
the Copernicus Emergency Management Service.
13. Our 1:1 million scale topographic dataset, EuroGlobalMap is made available free of charge for any use under a new open data licence introducing hundreds of potential us-ers to the benefits of authoritative, pan-European geoinformation.
14. In 2013, successful applications for full membership from the State Authority for Geospatial Information, Albania and the State Committee on Property, the Republic of Belarus mean that EuroGeographics now covers the whole of geographical Europe.
15. More than 70 MEPS visit our Maps for the Future event in the European Parliament which highlighted the benefits of the European Location Framework (ELF).