Open ELS Project

As the official bodies responsible for national cadastre, land registration, geodetic surveying and mapping activities in Europe, EuroGeographics’ members fulfil an essential role providing definitive and detailed geospatial information.

As their independent, international, not-for-profit membership association., EuroGeographics is committed to supporting them as they improve access to this rich source of data. Our 2017-2020 strategy, unanimously approved by members, cemented their commitment to provide access to their data. 

We believe there are many benefits for users and for society in having a single access point for international users of harmonised, pan-European, authoritative geospatial information and services.

The Open ELS Project, co-financed by the European Union’s Connecting Europe Facility, demonstrated the potential of a single point of access and offereds the opportunity to try harmonised European open data services from official national sources. It concluded on 30 April 2019 after two years of work by the project partners.


Open ELS Project

The Open ELS test services, launched at the 2019 Geospatial World Forum, were based on user requirements, in particular those from the European Commission and from the small and medium sized enterprises (SME) engagement programme. They played an important role in demonstrating the value of authoritative open geospatial data.

The Open ELS Project demonstrated the potential of a single point of access and offered the opportunity to try harmonised European open data services from official national sources. The Project also aimed to provide certainty about what is free, charged for and under what terms and conditions. In doing so, it aimed to improve the availability of geospatial information from the public authorities responsible for mapping, cadastre and land registries.

The Project was focused on facilitating access to, and encouraging the take up and use of, this information, and is strongly user orientated with a comprehensive programme of activities for SMEs.

EuroGeographics coordinated the two-year initiative co-financed by the European Union’s Connecting Europe Facility,  working with partners from member organisations in Norway, The Netherlands, Great Britain, Finland, Spain, Sweden, Poland and Germany.

The Open ELS project outcomes also included:

  • User orientation, a survey of small and medium sized enterprises (SME), and the idepntification of Open ELS use cases.
  • An appraisal of the potential economic and social benefits of open data from authoritative sources, carried out on our behalf by Deloitte.
  • A policy and legal framework for Open ELS that allows us to use members’ open data for Open ELS and defines the terms and conditions for use and re-use of this data.
  • Members have agreed the Open Data Policy for Open ELS, the Open Use licence, and the ELS Data Provider Agreement.
  • Guidelines for edge-matching and a policy for cross-border harmonisation for our members.
  • Compliance with the Metadata Quality Assurance (MQA) tool of the European Data (EDP) Portal. The Open ELS services metadata are now being harvested by the EDP.

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Three animations are also available which explain how the Project defines Open Data, how it can benefit SMEs and how users can access the test services.