Belgium: Data compiled from national mapping supplied by 45 European countries and territories can now be downloaded for free at www.eurogeographics.org.
From 8 March 2013, the 1:1 million scale topographic dataset, EuroGlobalMap will be available free of charge for any use under a new open data licence. It is produced using authoritative geo-information provided by members of EuroGeographics, the Association for European Mapping, Cadastre and Land Registry Authorities.
The move is part of a wider package of new licensing agreements and lower pricing to enable more users to benefit from members’ pan-European data. The changes mean that EuroGeographics will sell only European and regional coverage of its EuroBoundaryMap, EuroRegionalMap, and EuroDEM products. Individual national datasets and cross-boundary areas for each product will be available from licensed distributors and value-added resellers.
Launching the new open data service, EuroGeographics’ President, Ingrid Vanden Berghe said, “Our members are committed to ensuring that reliable, relevant and up-to-date geo-information is readily available and easily accessible. Many already have national open data policies, this new service means users can now also benefit from a high-quality, pan-European geographic backdrop free of charge.”
Comprising six themes – administrative boundaries; names locations; transport networks; settlements; elevation; and the water network – EuroGlobalMap can be used for cross-border planning, monitoring and network analysis as well as presenting environmental policies.
Vanden Berghe believes its free availability is a major contribution to the sustainable development agenda.
“World leaders acknowledge the need for further mainstream sustainable development at all levels, integrating economic, social and environmental aspects and recognising their inter-linkages,” she said.
“Geo-information is the key. It provides a vital link among otherwise unconnected information and enables the use of location as the basis for searching, cross-referencing, analysing and understanding Europe-wide data,” she added.