7 November 2022

Open Maps For Europe wins BeGeo Best Project Award

Open Maps For Europe has been awarded the GeoSpatial 2022 Professional Best Project Award at the BeGEO congress in Brussels.

The seventh BeGeo Congress, organised by The National Geographic Institute Belgium and Agoria, with the support of TMAB Business Events, pulled together geo-information experts from government, academia and the private sector in the Benelux area.

Accepting the award on behalf of the Open Maps for Europe consortium and EuroGeographics members, Sallie Payne Snell, Head of Operations said: “We are delighted that the jury of experts recognised this innovative approach to unlocking the power of open data from official national sources, as well as the economic potential to be gained by realising the benefits of the Open Data Public Sector Information (PSI) Directive which specifically identifies geospatial as a category of high value datasets.”

“Open Maps for Europe is the first time that pan-European datasets, created using our members authoritative geospatial information and EuroGeographics’ unique data integration process, have been easily discoverable, accessible, and released as open data under a single licence. This customised approach harmonises official national geospatial information to standard specifications so users can be confident that it is consistent, comparable and easily shared.”

“The easy-to-use online user interface addresses the challenges of accessing trusted geospatial open datasets created from multiple official national sources and includes topographic and height data, imagery, Open Gazetteer service and Open Cadastral Map prototype.”

The Open Maps For Europe online interface, developed by thinkWhere, an Idox company, enables users to discover, view, license and download the open datasets.

By October 2022, more than 3,000 unique users had registered to access the data at www.mapsforeurope.org; a six-fold increase since its September 2021 launch.

Open Maps For Europe, which is co-financed by the Connecting Europe Facility of the European Union, demonstrates how National Mapping, Cadastral and Land Registration Authorities can work together to produce pan-European open data by sharing the lessons learnt and best practice, whilst also promoting authoritative national open data beyond borders.

The project shows not only what can be achieved through Europe-wide cooperation, but also the benefits that result for the wider public good, specifically in support of policy decision-making at the European level.

Users include the European Environment Agency (EEA) European Ground Motion Service (EGMS); the EU External Action Service for planning military mobility and investment; and a tactile map project for the visually impaired.

Open Maps For Europe runs until 31 December 2022.

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 is coordinated by EuroGeographics, the voice of European National Mapping, Cadastral and Land Registration Authorities, in partnership with the National Geographic Institute (NGI) Belgium.

The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of EuroGeographics and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the European Union.