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July 23, 2015
UN-GGIM: Europe Urges Creation of Geocoded Reference System to Meet Demand for Integrated Data

July 23, 2015 — Growing demand for data analysis across user-defined geographical areas is driving the need for a geocoded point-based reference system says UN-GGIM: Europe.

A report on priority user needs by the working group on data integration found that many no longer require the fixed output areas of traditional surveys and censuses. It recommends that all countries in Europe work together to create a geocoded spatial reference framework for statistics which uses consistent unique identifiers to reference relevant information.

“Integration of statistical and geospatial information is a strategic asset for policy and decision makers helping to ensure that patterns are identified and acted upon; financial resources are accurately targeted; and outcomes and outputs, in particular the post-2015 development agenda, are monitored and measured,” said Chair of the UN-GGIM: Europe Data Integration Working Group, Hansjoerg Kutterer from Germany.

“Keeping this information apart means that these opportunities may be missed. We are therefore encouraging all European countries to work on data sharing and cooperation in the spirit of INSPIRE to take active steps towards sustainable solutions for society and create value for a wide range of users.”

The report, which is the first deliverable from UN-GGIM: Europe, highlights examples of best practice in responding to user needs at local, national and European level from Member States, as well as the European Commission and European projects. These demonstrate how the integration of geospatial data and statistics can be used to achieve and monitor key UN Sustainable Development Goals relating to Dignity, People, Prosperity and Planet.

It makes five recommendations:

That Member States in Europe support the development of a European Spatial Data Strategy based on comprehensive National Spatial Data Strategies. This includes an obligation to geocode all administrative data records at unit level and to use geospatial information that is already available, rather than creating their own datasets.

That Member States initiate a process to increase the number of national authoritative geospatial datasets to better meet stakeholders requirements.

That Member States consider the requirements of National Statistical Institutes to provide geospatial information for following trends and changes in the environment.

That Member States promote the use of geospatial workflows and technology as key to advancing the integration of geospatial and thematic information.

That Member States promote the use of geospatial workflows and technology, in particular for the Census 2021.

The report and use cases are available at www.un-ggim-europe.org.

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