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Sanjay Gangal
Sanjay Gangal
Sanjay Gangal is the President of IBSystems, the parent company of, MCADCafe, EDACafe.Com, GISCafe.Com, and ShareCG.Com.

GISCafePredictions for 2024 – EuroGeographics

February 8th, 2024 by Sanjay Gangal

By Sallie Payne Snell,  Secretary General & Executive Director  EuroGeographics

Sallie Payne Snell

Providing certainty in an uncertain world

Misinformation and disinformation are the biggest short-term risks facing society according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report 2024. In a data-driven world, maintaining public trust in official information will be more important than ever.

In uncertain times, authoritative map, cadastral and land registration information provides certainty to those responsible for making critical decisions about people and places. Trusted, transparent and interoperable public sector data based on fundamental rights and common values are key building blocks for a wide range of policies, including the EU’s Digital Decade and Green Deal, and the United Nation’s Decade of Action.

In 2024, NMCAs will play a key role in helping to realise the aspirations of people everywhere for a better future by providing the trustworthy data for a sustainable, safer and fairer society.

To solve the complex issues facing society, we are seeing increasing integration of data from disparate sources with location as the common denominator. This is driving demand for, and reuse of, geospatial data from trusted sources, both as the connection that provides context and clarity, and as a validator for third-party datasets.

Data is at the very start of the value chain.

The UN recognises that a strong global geospatial infrastructure is an essential enabler for achieving its 2030 Agenda. To encourage even greater use of official geospatial data for the global indicators of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), we believe that geospatial data should be integrated in the next development framework to make it stronger and more inclusive. Demonstrating the use and value of location to link information and action across national boundaries will be vital in the coming year.

In Europe, the European Commission defines geospatial as high-value data (HVD) and an important enabler of cross-border applications and services which offers a wealth of opportunities for reuse due to its compatibility with other datasets.

As early pioneers in data interoperability, members have wide-ranging experience in solving a wide range of challenges to create datasets and solutions beyond borders and have developed a unique data integration process for EuroGeographics pan-European datasets.

EuroGeographics and its members are already delivering high-value pan-European data through the Open Maps for Europe interface ( and building on this success through OME2. The project, which is co-funded by the European Union, realises the benefits of the Open Data Public Sector Information (PSI) Directive and provides a foundation for future pan-European high-value datasets. It corresponds with Member States’ obligations to implement high-value data and will be completed at the end of 2025.

By addressing the challenge of finding, accessing and licensing authoritative pan-European harmonised edge-matched, large-scale data, OME2 benefits both users and national providers of geospatial information.

For users, it saves time by providing machine-readable data as APIs from one central portal under one easy-to-understand open data licence. As a result, they will no longer need to visit individual Member State geoportals to access specific datasets, spend significant resources connecting them, or agree to multiple licences.

The prototype shows how public sector demand for geospatial information in all common data spaces of the European Strategy for Data can be met.

OME2 will develop a new production process and technical specification for free-to-use, edge-matched data under a single open licence to create a prototype dataset covering 10 countries. It demonstrates how our members can work together to produce pan-European open data by sharing the lessons learnt and best practice, whilst also providing national open data beyond borders.

By allowing data to be easily uploaded, converted to the specification for each HVD theme, harmonised and edge-matched, OME2 will enable members to re-use techniques nationally and share good practices, advancing the data sharing tools needed to deliver free-flowing, interoperable data for the single market. This collaborative approach to using collective expertise for the public good will continue, particularly in terms of exploring new technologies.

During 2024, use of new technologies that add value to their activities, while protecting data quality, will continue. For example, more than half of the participants in the third joint EuroGeographics – EuroSDR workshop held at the end of 2023, said they were testing AI, or confirmed its small scale or moderate use within their organisations.

Whilst there is no doubt that AI is a technological game changer, as trusted providers of official geospatial information, the challenge for our members is to balance efficiency benefits with measures to ensure the continued accuracy, high quality and reliability of their data. Our discussions with them show that they are taking a prudent and pragmatic approach to the use of AI rather than falling for the hype.

About Author:

Sallie Payne Snell is Secretary General and Executive Director of EuroGeographics, the membership association for the European National Mapping, Cadastral and Land Registry (NMCAs) Authorities. The international not-for-profit organisation is based in Brussels, Belgium.

A highly respected senior manager, Sallie has an international network of geospatial contacts gained through extensive relationship and reputation management experience. Her previous positions include Deputy Director, Association for Geographic Information and International Stakeholder Relationship Manager, Ordnance Survey. She holds a BSc in geographical science.

Category: Industry Predictions

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