Keep up to date with the latest news from the Open ELS Project


20 June 2018

Information for data suppliers

If you are providing content for European Location Services or Open ELS, a list of important information to support your role as a data supplier is available by logging onto the EuroGeographics website.

This includes data specifications and Service Level Agreement. Please note you must be logged in to view these.

More information about providing content is also available here.


10 April 2018

Open ELS Open Data Policy and Licensing Workshop

Representatives from 21 NMCAs, NSAs and the research community met recently to learn about the open data policy and licensing framework for the Open ELS Project.

Helen Kaestner, European Location Services Transition Programme Manager welcome delegates to EuroGeographics Head Office with a presentation of the vision for European Location Services, of which the Open ELS Project is a key part. Her introduction was followed by an overview of the results from the recent survey on open data already available from official national sources across geographical Europe. The research, which concluded in November 2017, includes information from 46 institutions in 32 European countries.

Dominik Kopczewski, EuroGeographics Policy Development Manager then presented the proposed Open ELS Open Data Policy. The document describes the common vision and approach for the Open ELS project and defines the open data so that it is distinguished from datasets provided via other platforms and services. It also sets out the legal and licensing framework principles that will guide user access and reuse. The Open ELS Open Data Policy provides all participating NMCAs, as well as those considering joining the project in the future, with a clear understanding of how their data will be licensed through the Open ELS services.


20 March 2018

Open ELS all partners meeting

The Open ELS Project partners met in Belgium to discuss progress on developing European open geospatial data services from official national sources.

The two-year initiative, co-financed by the European Union’s Connecting Europe Facility, brings together experts in geospatial data supply, products, technology and marketing – a full list of participating organisations is available at

EuroGeographics Secretary General and Executive Director, Mick Cory spoke about the strategic importance of developing operational European Location Services, of which Open ELS is a core component. Good progress has been made and activity leaders gave updates on data coverage, product development, the technical infrastructure and engagement with potential users. There was also a lively debate on open data policy and a preview showing the possibilities of an Open ELS service.


23 February 2018

Ukraine NSDI Conference

Dominik Kopczewski and Saulius Urbanas from EuroGeographics spoke about progress towards European Location Services, including the Open ELS Project, at a recent National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) event in Ukraine.

The international conference, NSDI: Towards a data society, was organised by State Service of Ukraine for Geodesy, Cartography and Cadastre and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).  Around 200 delegates from Ukrainian public authorities, universities and private GIS developers participated.

EuroGeographics Members from Belarus, Croatia, Finland, Germany, Norway, Moldova, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Slovenia and Sweden also shared their knowledge and experience of developing NSDIs.


18 January 2018

Open ELS Products & Services Workshop

A successful Open ELS Products & Services workshop was held this week in Edinburgh, reports Abigail Page, EuroGeographics Product Development Manager

Supported by generous hosts Registers of Scotland, the event was attended by task leaders and others providing input into Activity 4. The agenda included an opportunity for everyone to share progress and agree next steps.

The main focus was on defining products and services to be delivered in Open ELS, based on analysis from user workshop and the recent survey to members on data availability. Outputs from the workshop will be developed further over the coming weeks before being presented to the ELS Programme Board.


19 December 2017

Frequently Asked Questions Published

Do you have a question about the Open ELS Project?

You may be interested in its aims, organisation and funding , or perhaps you want to know more about coverage, data supply and specifications. Please visit our new Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section for answers to these and other queries. We’ll be adding to the list in the coming months.



15 December 2017

Open ELS Project update – December 2017

During the last two months, the Open ELS Project:

  • Defined data supply processes.
  • Delivered the first version of the data contributors help desk comprising processes, tools and documentation. The helpdesk is available via the Open ELS website.
  • Completed and published the results of the survey on open data policy in National Mapping, Cadastral and Land Registry Authorities, which identifies obstacles and barriers for an open data policy
  • Completed a joint survey with JRC on open data availability and EU gazetteer, and started the analysis of the results.
  • Began work for an on-the-fly edge-matching service.

Work now continues on metadata procedures and maintenance processes as well as Open ELS product development and identification of use cases. The Project is further analysing the survey results on open data availability and EU gazetteer with JRC, and continues its work to draft a framework for the open data policy. It is also initialising the work on the economic appraisal of Open ELS and the activities on strengthening the technical platform.


5 December 2017

Research reveals scope of open geospatial data from official national sources across Europe

Open data is available from the majority of European National Mapping, Cadastral and Land Registration Authorities (NMCAs), a new survey has found.

Research by the Open European Location Services (ELS) Project reveals that 98% of respondents provide at least some of their data free of charge. Of these, 37% make all their data available under an open licence.

Whilst open data models vary, more than 85% provide view and search services, 72% enable downloads and 67% allow its re-use in products. Users include public authorities, public services, research and education as well as commercial companies.

“This survey provides a snapshot of the scope of open data from official national sources across geographical Europe,” says Dominik Kopczewski, Policy Development Manager at international not-for-profit organisation, EuroGeographics which is co-ordinating the Open ELS Project.

“With rising demand for open geospatial data, it is unsurprising that almost all the NMCAs questioned provide at least some of their information for free, funded primarily via government. We believe this demonstrates growing recognition of their contribution to delivering policy, economic growth and market development.”

“A key finding however, is that, in addition to the legal and economic challenges faced by NMCAs, the interpretation of open data also varies significantly. As a result, so do the terms of use across Europe, with some NMCAs allowing its re-use in products and others only view, search and download services.”

“One of the key aims of the Open ELS Project is to provide certainty about what open data from official sources is free, what is charged for and under what terms and conditions. This research is the first step in delivering an Open ELS open data policy which will complement the national activities of NMCAs and respect their national policy, legislative and business requirements.”

The survey was completed by 46 members of EuroGeographics, the Association for European National Mapping, Cadastral and Land Registry Authorities, which is coordinating the two-year Open ELS Project co-financed by the European Union’s Connecting Europe Facility.

Key findings

 Of the 44 NMCAs responding to the Open ELS questionnaire:

  • 26 (56%) reported that their country had a national open data policy.
  • 29 (63%) had an open data policy in their organisation with a further eight (18%) preparing one. Where NMCAs do not have their own open data policy, this is usually because they have already implemented national open data legislation.
  • 69% (29) reported that their open data was funded via government.

For more information, visit



16 November 2017

Launch of Open ELS Help Desk marks first Project milestone

The launch of the Open ELS Help Desk marks the delivery of the Open European Location Services (ELS) Project’s first milestone. This provides an important tool for data providers, potential users and others with an interest in European open data geospatial service to contact the Project team.

The Open ELS Help Desk features a dropdown menu that enables users to select from a choice of enquiry topics, including evaluation of service and providing data. There is also the option to submit a general question.

Enquires to the Open ELS Help Desk will be answered by the relevant expert in the Project team. The aim is to help raise awareness of Open ELS and to deliver technical support to the data providers in a more efficient way.

Submit an enquiry here.


20 October 2017

Technical infrastructure update

Activities are currently focussed on:

  • Planning the activities to strengthen the technical infrastructure and the availability of services; the activities will be carried out in 2018.
  • Further platform activities, dependent upon upcoming usage and content/ services.
  • Consolidation of software components and, if needed, introduction of new components based on identified requirements.

Kartverket Norway is leading the stream of activities.


17 October 2017

Data supply support update

Work has focussed on the following activities:

  • A “European Location Services Data Supply” Basecamp group has been set up to communicate progress to data providers, handle issues in national services and share presentations and records. Regular webinars are being organised for subscribers.
  • Further development of procedures for quality checking, testing and application of validation tools, as well as the development guidance for data providers
  • Progress on developing the helpdesk facilities, aiming to strengthen the support for data providers and optimising the data provision processes.
  • Planning activities to extend product coverage by enabling a better understanding of the availability of data and services.
  • Planning capacity building activities, starting in 2018.

These activities are led by Kadaster Netherlands with support from EuroGeographics Head Office. Please contact Saulius Urbanas, Service Development Consultant,, if you would like to join the European Location Services Data Supply Basecamp, webinars, workshops and other activities.


10 October 2017

Product development update

Activities, including user orientation and marketing, are currently focussed on:

  • Running a number of user workshops to assist in the prioritisation of development and ensure a customer centric approach.
  • Making available evaluation services to seek further input and feedback from key users.
  • The development of Open ELS demonstration use cases, to provide decision makers with a greater understanding of the potential of European Location Services.
  • Preparation of marketing and promotional materials to support the Open ELS Project – such as the recently launched website at and materials and presentations for the INSPIRE conference.

EuroGeographics’ Head Office and Ordnance Survey GB are leading this activity. Please contact Abigail Page, Product Development Manager,, if you have any questions.


4 October 2017

EuroGeographics members give green light to new strategy

The Open ELS project is a core component of EuroGeographics wider vision for European Location Services.

Building an operational European Location Services is integral to EuroGeographics’ future plans and is a key part of the Association’s strategy for 2017–2020. Following its approval by members at the 2017 General Assembly, the process of defining the operational model and drafting an implementation plan has now begun.


12 June 2017

Plan to deliver authoritative pan-European open data services unveiled today in Brussels

Members of EuroGeographics have today (12 June 2017) unveiled plans for pan-European open data services underpinned by geospatial information from official sources.

The Open European Location Services (ELS) project aims to improve the availability of geospatial information from the public authorities responsible for mapping, cadastre and land registries. Funded by the European Commission, it builds upon the European Location Framework (ELF) project which developed the standards, specifications, tools and technical infrastructure to deliver pan-European geospatial content. Open ELS is focused on facilitating access to, and encouraging the take up and use of this information, and is strongly user orientated with a comprehensive programme of activities for SMEs. It is therefore the core component for building operational European Location Services. MORE

EuroGeographics, an international not-for-profit association representing Europe’s National Mapping, Cadastral and Land Registration Authorities, is coordinating the two-year initiative which is 50 per cent funded by the European Commission through the 2016 CEF Telecom Call. It is working with partners from member organisations in Norway, The Netherlands, Great Britain, Finland, Spain, Sweden, Poland and Germany.

Helen Kaestner, European Location Services Transition Programme Manager said: “Our intention is to develop pan-European open data services using authoritative geospatial information along with an associated business model, whilst also respecting EuroGeographics members’ national policy, legislative and business requirements. This will provide certainty about what is free, what is charged for, and the terms and conditions of use or reuse.”

The Open ELS project is part of EuroGeographics’ wider vision for a unique and powerful information resource covering geographical Europe as well as the EU Member States. Together with its members, the association is committed to developing the gateway to data from official, national sources to deliver European Location Services. This will be a unique, single source of data from multiple countries which is delivered to a common specification under clear and harmonised licencing and pricing.

Ms Kaestner continued: “We know that authoritative geospatial data is highly valued and provides confidence to users that it is consistent and comparable, regardless of its national source.”

“The delivery of an operational service is an ambitious undertaking but the geospatial community has a long and successful tradition of positive and strong collaboration. EuroGeographics is founded on a tradition of sharing knowledge and expertise, and we have a long, successful track record of delivering harmonised pan-European geospatial data products.”

“Open ELS and European Location Services complement the national activities of our members and provide a fundamental resource for Europe that meets the needs and high expectations of users.”


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, Cadastre and Land Registry Authorities. It currently brings together 63 members from 46 countries.

Open ELS

Open ELS is a two-year project funded by European Commission (2016 CEF Telecom Call – Public Open Data (CEF-TC-2016-2).