EuroGeographics General Assembly 2014 and UN-GGIM: Europe meeting

he Fourteenth General Assembly of EuroGeographics and the UN GGIM Europe meeting were held in the period from 29 September to 1 October 2014 in Moldovian capital city Chișinău.

Moldovian State Agency for Land Relations and Cadastre hosted this year’s Assembly and the plenary meeting of the UN GGIM: Europe, with the support of the EuroGeographics management. Moldovian Agency was selected as this year’s host, because it celebrates the 20th anniversary of its founding.

The Assembly was opened by Anatolie Ghilas, General Director of Moldovian State Agency for Land Relations and Cadastre, who presented current activities and projects. Victor Bodiu, Secretary General of the Government of Moldova, welcomed the participants and emphasized importance of holding of this event in their country.

This year’s Assembly was attended by more than 150 representatives from more than 50 National Mapping and Cadastral Agencies (NMCA) that are members of the Association. During the Assembly, the experts from Europe and invited speakers exchanged experiences and discussed the current topics and issues, as well as plans for further development.

Particular discussion was about the future directions of the development of cadastre and the way of adjustment of NMCA to the needs of the users and wider community. Regional initiatives and cooperation among members were presented. Participants were introduced to the forms and results of the cooperation among the Nordic countries. Danko Markovinović, Director of State Geodetic Administration of Croatia, gave a presentation on the cooperation in the Western Balkans region through the results and goals of INSPIRATION and IMPULS пројects.

European Location Framework (ELF), project that is being implemented in the period from 2013 to 2016, was presented as well. EuroGeographics team coordinates project activities, where 30 partners from the Member countries are currently involved in implementation, with the possibility to include other countries. The main goal of the project is to define the rules for licensing of data and establishing the technical infrastructure, through which the spatial data compliant with INSPIRE requirements will be available to users, including the European Commission, the European Agency for the Environment and the United Nations.

A session was organized where all delegates participated in the roundtable discussions on following topics: The cadastre of the future; The changing role of national mapping authorities; Big data, linked data and data mining and The impact of new technologies on NMCAs.

Ingrid Vanden Beghe and Bengt Kjellson, President and Vice-President of EuroGeographics, presented the annual report of the Management Board. Delegates voted and adopted Operating plan, subscriptions and budget. Besides, there was a voting for the president and members of the Management Board. Ingrid Vanden Beghe from the Belgian Geographical Institute was reelected for the president of the Association. Three new members of the Management Board were elected as follows: Arvo Kokkonen from Finland, Angela Matcov from Moldova and Danko Markovinović from Croatia.

In the final session of the Assembly, the Republic Geodetic Authority, as the host of the next General Assembly in 2015, presented its role, current activities and projects.

Plenary meeting of UN-GGIM: Europe (United Nations Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management in Europe) was held on 1 October 2014. The aim of the UN-GGIM is to provide, on global and regional level, support from NMCAs for implementation of the development goals of the United Nations, as well as their cooperation with Statistical institutions, contributing to the efficient management of geoinformation in Europe in accordance with users requirements.

A welcoming message from Walter Radermacher, Director General of Eurostat, was read at the meeting. In the message an emphasis was laid on the development of statistical-spatial information infrastructure as a part of the European Digital Agenda.

The representatives of the Working groups for the preparation of the meeting presented the working plan aimed at achieving two main objectives:

  1. Increasing of interoperability and harmonization of the data through defining core spatial data that meet the most important needs of user

  2. Integration of core data with other thematic and sectoral data to support the further usage.

During the plenary meeting delegates from the European countries adopted the rules of procedure and work plan, elected Steering Committee, President and Vice President and Secretary of the organization.