6 September 2023

Balancing demand for open data with data security is key challenge say European Cadastral Agencies

Meeting the challenge of balancing demand for open government data with data security is a key issue for European National Mapping, Cadastral and Land Registration Authorities (NMCAs), a survey has found.

Of the 26 organisations responding to a joint questionnaire by EuroGeographics and the Permanent Committee on Cadastre in the European Union (PCC), 20 reported conflicts between data openness and security increasing arising from increasing requirements for confidentiality, accuracy and availability.

“Information from cadastral authorities is one of the most valuable resources for a functioning society and is fundamental to the four priorities of Sweden’s EU Presidency: security, resilience, prosperity and democracy,” says Dr Daniel Steudler, Chair of EuroGeographics Cadastre and Land Registry Knowledge Exchange Network (KEN).

“Securing land ownership is the foundation of a market economy and there is a clear need for robustness and resilience of basic infrastructures in times of uncertainty, particularly to prevent and manage catastrophic consequences, such as landslides, flooding and wildfires.”

“To meet the needs of society, co-operation and interconnectivity is key. Information must be readily available, interoperable, and adapted towards digital processes. Data protection therefore presents a real challenge in meeting the demand for cadastral open data.”

“National geoportals, Web Mapping Services (WMS) and National Geodata Infrastructures are just some of the ways in which NMCAs are overcoming issues in co-operating and co-ordinating the sharing of geodata between different authorities.”

Members of EuroGeographics are also working together to deliver pan-European open data through the Open Maps For Europe interface. This includes an Open Cadastral Map prototype which currently provides large-scale coverage for six countries.

This first iteration, developed under the award-winning Open Maps For Europe project, which is co-financed by the Connecting Europe Facility of the European Union, includes Poland, The Netherlands, Czech Republic, Spain, Denmark and Slovenia. The map takes INSPIRE open data and allows the user to find out what is available from national sources in one place before obtaining the data from the official provider. The cadastral map comprises four layers: Administrative Units, Cadastral Parcels (and Cadastral Zones), Buildings (and Building Parts) and Addresses.

The prototype will be enhanced by Open Maps For Europe 2 (OME2) which is co-funded by the European Union.

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.

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

The OME2 project is co-funded by the European Union. It is being delivered by a consortium comprising: EuroGeographics, the not-for-profit membership association for Europe’s National Mapping, Cadastral and Land Registration Authorities; 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 Mapping Agency, The Netherlands.

Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or European Commission. Neither the European Union nor the European Commission can be held responsible for them.