The European Commission has launched the beta version of the European Data Portal, with more than 240,000 datasets, at the European Data Forum. The European Data Portal (www.europeandataportal.eu) enables fast and simple searching of open data from 34 European countries and supports their systematic onward use. Open data comprises information gathered, generated or purchased by public institutions that may be used, modified and shared freely by anyone. A recently published study by Capgemini Consulting estimates the immediate market volume for open data within Europe over the next five years at 325 billion euros. The European Commission aims to use the European Data Portal to simplify access to this data, in order to more successfully tap into its enormous economic potential. However, state administrations, research institutes and the general public also stand to benefit from open data, thanks to the optimised administrative processes, increased transparency and improved possibilities for participation associated with it.
Another feature available from the portal is the search for place names, for the purpose of simplifying the discovery of datasets by means of spatial search criteria. To this end, con terra employs the smart.finder, a solution that allows rapid discovery and structured access to extensive, heterogeneous datasets. The basic data is drawn from such sources as the geographical names according to INSPIRE Annex I and open data from geonames.org, which are harmonised and combined with the aid of the FME spatial data hub. The INSPIRE-compliant OGC Web Feature Service that has recently been made available by the Federal Agency for Cartography and Geodesy (BKG) is also used for geographical names in the construction of this so-called gazetteer.
The provision of the beta version represents the European Data Portal’s first public phase. The main aim is to obtain feedback from the public to allow onward development of the multi-million-euro project within the consortium, in accordance with requirements. Besides Capgemini, the consortium comprises the following partners and subcontractors: con terra, Fraunhofer FOKUS, Intrasoft International, The Open Data Institute, Sogeti, time.lex and the University of Southampton.
Source: GIM International