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EuroGeographics Interview

Insight from EuroGeographics’ New Secretary General and Executive Director

It was recently announced that data from official national sources is one of Europe’s most valuable resources in achieving a sustainable, safer and fairer society. The showcase by members of EuroGeographics, the not-for-profit membership association for Europe’s National Mapping, Cadastral and Land Registry Authorities, highlighted their role in providing fundamental information to implement the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We sat down with EuroGeographics’ new Secretary General and Executive Director, Sallie Payne Snell, to learn more.

Q: As a not-for-profit organization, what will be your focus in representing providers of geospatial data in your new role?

A: Thank you! It’s an honor to represent the official providers of trusted geospatial information across Europe. I am committed to championing members’ data and expertise. Having previously led the Association’s operations, I’ve gained an in-depth understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing National Mapping, Cadastral and Land Information Authorities, and I will be using this to deliver membership benefits that support them in their national, European and global activities. My focus will be on enabling access to their high-value data and expertise through its integration into modern society’s infrastructures.

Q: EuroGeographics recently announced the pivotal role that location data plays in bettering the world. Can you share more about this dynamic between people and place?

A: Location data is a powerful tool that provides the link between information and action. Geospatial data connects people with places and enables insights and solutions to key societal issues such as climate change, energy transition, and intelligent transport systems. We have a wide range of case studies on our website showing how members’ data and expertise play a key role in creating a sustainable, safer, and fairer society.

Q: What role do you think geospatial data plays in meeting the Sustainable Development Goals? Why is this announcement about geospatial data so important to highlight?

A: Geospatial data enables the connection between people, location, and place, allowing us to measure progress and target action. It is crucial for achieving the UN’s 2030 Agenda and is a priority objective for EU policy. Official geospatial data from national sources is one of Europe’s most valuable resources in achieving a sustainable, safer, and fairer society. It supports a wide range of policies, including the EU’s Digital Decade, Green Deal, and climate resilience initiatives.

Q: What challenges do you foresee in using official geospatial data for global indicators of the SDGs, and how can the geospatial community contribute to solving these challenges?

A: Our support for the UN-endorsed Integrated Geospatial Information Framework will address data challenges and enable access to members’ high-value European geospatial data, sharing expertise, and demonstrating the use and value of location to provide a stronger and more inclusive development framework beyond 2030.

Q: How does geospatial information from trusted sources impact everyday lives in the modern age of misinformation?

A: Authoritative map, cadastral, and land registration information provides certainty to those responsible for making critical decisions. Trusted, transparent, and interoperable public sector information based on fundamental rights and common values are key building blocks for a wide range of policies and initiatives. High-quality and reliable data provided by EuroGeographics members are fundamental to our everyday lives, from online services to emergency response operations.

Q: What’s involved in the Open Maps for Europe 2 (OME2) project, and how will it help ensure large-scale open data meets technical specifications for the UN Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM)?

A: EuroGeographics and its members are delivering high-value pan-European data through the Open Maps for Europe interface. We are building on this success through the…

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