21 September 2020

BKG obtains Other National Authority (ONA) status from Eurostat

Germany’s Federal Agency for Cartography and Geodesy (BKG) is the first National Mapping and Cadastral Authority (NMCA) to gain Other National Authority (ONA) status from Eurostat.

As a result, BKG has committed to meeting a number of requirements, including observing the code of practice for European statistics, and will now have the opportunity to apply directly for EU grants.

Receiving ONA status will also strengthen the national and international coordination role of BKG regarding geospatial information, and it hopes other EuroGeographics members will consider applying to facilitate closer collaboration with Eurostat.

Regine Elling, Executive Unit – International Affairs, BKG explains: “It is obvious to BKG that EuroGeographics’ network and the capabilities of its members could be crucial and would be beneficial to all parties.”

“The joint message from Eurostat and EuroGeographics in March 2020 highlighted the importance of integrating statistics and geospatial information. The European Statistical System (ESS) needs up-to-date authoritative geospatial data as well as statistics to fulfil its responsibilities. Eurostat provides grants to National Statistical Institutes (NSI) and Other National Authorities (ONA) on specific topics of interest linked to its priorities, in particular the integration of geographical information and statistics.”

“To Eurostat, it is clear that NMCAs such as BKG, are the primary national producers or brokers of the geospatial data needed for spatial analysis. That’s why it welcomes and supports ONA requests that will allow it to improve the development of geospatial statistics and meet the objectives set in its annual work programme.”

“In BKG’s opinion, the integration of statistics and geospatial data will require closer collaboration  between NMCAs and Eurostat by setting and implementing common projects. It would therefore be mutually beneficial for this collaboration if many European NMCAs also become an ONA, which would not only provide opportunities for grant applications to support the development of the geospatial community alongside the statistics, but also enable discussion of particular topics and for solving specific geospatial issues.”

Regine continues: “There are a variety of reasons why BKG, whose responsibilities are closely related to regulation (EC) No 223/2009 on producing spatial data on which European statistics are based, wanted to be on the ONA list. For many years, we have worked closely with the German statistical institute Destatis, providing up to date national geospatial data. Both institutions are partners on the area of data integration within the framework of United Nations Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM).”

“The combination of geospatial reference data with statistical information is only possible with the data from BKG. The listing as ONA opens the opportunity for BKG to apply directly for EU grants, as is the case with the new Eurostat call ‘Integration of geospatial information and statistics’.”