Keep up to date with the latest news from the Open ELS Project
5 February 2019
New report: Open geospatial data from official sources is opportunity to boost SME productivity & competitive advantage
Centralising access to official national geospatial and land information from Europe would enable SMEs to be more competitive by cutting costs and boosting their ability to scale up and enter new markets, says a new report.
The research, carried out by Deloitte and EuroGeographics, the international not-for-profit membership organisation for European National Mapping, Cadastral and Land Registry Authorities (NMCAs), found that SMEs have a strong appetite for more cross-border authoritative data which could help them improve their product and service offerings, save money and become more competitive.
“SMEs constitute 99% of European businesses and the EU cannot succeed in the transition to the data economy without the participation of SMEs in the digital transformation,” says Mick Cory, EuroGeographics Secretary General and Executive Director.
“The majority of SMEs participating in our study already use official map or cadastral information and said it was important that it was harmonised across national borders. There is strong demand for cross-border, edge-matched interoperable data however, SMEs currently face challenges in using and accessing authoritative information, including lack of resources for dealing with multiple NCMAs as well as costs for data cleaning.”
“Open geospatial data from official sources not only helps to overcome these issues but also provides a first step in realising the benefits of authoritative information. To demonstrate its potential, we are developing a single point of access to a number of European open data services. The Open ELS Project will offer the opportunity to try harmonised open geospatial information from official national sources and aims to provide certainty about what is free, charged for and under what terms and conditions.”
“By supporting the development of open public data as an engine for innovation, growth and transparent governance, our members are committed to filling an existing gap in terms of data availability, meeting increased demand for cross-border geospatial information at European level for both businesses and policymakers, and helping to accelerate the digital transformation and take up of the data economy.”
As part of the Open ELS Project, EuroGeographics contacted 26 SMEs from across Europe. The findings were included in a Deloitte report on the Socio-Economic Impact of Open ELS.
- Respondents operated in a number of sectors, including: Energy and Infrastructure; Emergency Services; Transport; Real Estate; Finance and Insurance; and Environmental Services.
- Almost all served customers in more than one European Country, with around one third serving more than five.
- There was overwhelming interest in free cross-border services, in particular administrative units and areas, cadastral parcels and addresses delivered through a web service or API.
- The survey highlighted four potential benefits: The possibility to improve existing products and services offering; The possibility to develop new products and services; The reduced time and costs of dealing with different national mapping and cadastral agencies; and the reduced time and costs for acquiring/accessing data.
5 December 2018
Guidance on cross-border harmonisation
The Open ELS Project has issued guidance on implementing cross-border harmonisation for data providers so that they can edge-match topographical features along borders.
The document will guide National Mapping, Cadastral and Land Registration Authorities (NMCAs) in defining the connecting points or lines of the cross-border features of national geospatial data. This will assure the seamless continuity of the features across the international boundaries of neighbouring countries.
16 October 2018
Open ELS at EFGS 2018
As part of the session on international cooperation at the 11th European Forum for Geography and Statistics (EFGS), Dominik Kopczewski from EuroGeographics shared recent research on the current position of open services in Europe.
He also presented the Open Data Policy for Open ELS and explained why bringing existing open INSPIRE services together in a harmonised way will benefit both stakeholders and users alike.
Dominik’s presentation is available here.
19 July 2018
The definition, specification and development of data products and web services with a strong user focus is a key task for the Open ELS Project.
During the first 12 months of the Project, the team has worked closely with users to understand more about customer interest in, and requirements for, pan-European open data.
9 July 2018
Data policy to boost use of official geospatial information
Harmonised geospatial data from official national sources will be free to access and available under an open licence through the Open European Location Services (Open ELS) Project.
The newly-published Open ELS data policy sets out the principals for accessing and reusing the data and services delivered by the Open ELS Project. In doing so, it provides certainty, to both users and the participating National Mapping, Cadastral and Land Registry Authorities,about what open data is free and under what terms and conditions.
“This document defines open data available from the Open ELS Project, as well as a common vision and approach for licensing it,” says Dominik Kopczewski, Policy Development Manager at the international not-for-profit organisation, EuroGeographics, which is co-ordinating the Open ELS Project.
“It was developed with feedback from National Mapping, Cadastral and Land Registry Authorities andcomplements their national activities whilst also respecting their national policy, legislative and business requirements.”
“Our intention is to support the development of open public data as an engine for innovation, growth and transparent governance that stimulates growth in electronic services and the development of innovative applications. As a result, the policy aims to make Open ELS data and services available to the widest range of users for the widest range of purposes with EuroGeographics providing a point of contact to assist with data use.”
Key points of the Open ELS Data Policy
- Applies only to the geospatial pan-European data and services developed and maintained by EuroGeographics through the Open ELS Project.
- Open ELS data is public and open data which can be accessed, searched, viewed and reused free of charge and restrictions.
- Open ELS data may be used in any way for commercial gain in accordance with the user’s national regulations.
- To preserve the value of the data, Open ELS data is maintained, updated and made available and accessible as quickly as possible in accordance with production processes.
- Open ELS data is technically open, in machine-readable form and can be processed by computers, using the semantics of the data via its metadata.
Open ELS is a two-year project co-financed by the European Union’s Connecting Europe Facility. It aims to improve the availability of geospatial information from the public authorities responsible for mapping, cadastre and land registries and is a core component of EuroGeographics’ vision for wider operational European Location Services.
The full Open ELS Data Policy is available here.
Notes to Editors
Open European Location Services (Open ELS) is a two-year project co-financed by the European Union’s Connecting Europe Facility. It is developing pan-European data services using authoritative geospatial information and an associated business model. In doing so, it aims to improve the availability of geospatial information from the public authorities responsible for mapping, cadastre and land registries. The Project 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.
EuroGeographics, which represents Europe’s National Mapping, Cadastral and Land Registration Authorities, is coordinating the two-year initiative co-financed by the European Union’s Connecting Europe Facility. The international not-for-profit association is working with partners from member organisations in Finland, Germany, Great Britain, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden and The Netherlands to deliver this core component for wider operational European Location Services.
The sole responsibility of this publication lies with the author. The European Union is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained therein.
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 www.openels.eu.
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.”
“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.
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 www.openels.eu.
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.
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, email@example.com, 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 openels.eu 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, firstname.lastname@example.org, 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 is a two-year project funded by European Commission (2016 CEF Telecom Call – Public Open Data (CEF-TC-2016-2).