ArcNews Online

Fall 2006

National Mapping and Cadastral Agencies to Benefit

PLTS for ArcGIS—Mapping Agency Solution Extended for Broad Use in Europe

Esri's PLTS for ArcGIS—Mapping Agency Solution 9.2 software now includes the updated EuroGlobalMap, as well as the existing EuroRegionalMap models. The EuroGlobalMap and EuroRegionalMap production environment effectively satisfies the need for a contiguous and harmonized European spatial dataset, a key requirement of the Infrastructure for Spatial Information in Europe (INSPIRE) initiative. The goal of the initiative is to make it easier to access geographic information for formulating, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating European community policies. The INSPIRE initiative is a critical step in the development of the European Spatial Data Infrastructure (ESDI).

  click to enlarge
Cartographically styled map utilizing the EuroRegionalMap (ERM) geodatabase model.

EuroGeographics is an association that currently includes 49 European National Mapping and Cadastral Agencies (NMCAs) from 42 countries. In 2004, EuroGeographics and Esri collaborated on extending the Mapping Agency Solution by building a geographic database model to support the EuroRegionalMap requirements.

Because the Mapping Agency Solution is a COTS solution, the participating NMCAs are able to easily access the same production environment to facilitate the collection and maintenance of consistent and high-quality datasets. The Mapping Agency Solution is designed to efficiently produce topographic basemap products. This solution can be used to create and maintain data for large-, intermediate-, and small-scale topographic map products.

The EuroRegionalMap database is intended as a topographic framework or base data product for multipurpose GIS at the scale of 1:250,000. It covers Europe and is intended to facilitate the implementation of cross-border and pan-European GIS solutions and expertise.

The success of the EuroRegionalMap product prompted the extension of Esri's Mapping Agency Solution to include the EuroGlobalMap product in its ArcGIS 9.2 release. Both multifunctional topographic reference datasets are currently supporting GIS applications and map production throughout the European community.

EuroGlobalMap is a topographic dataset that covers Europe at the scale of 1:1 million. It is produced in cooperation with the NMCAs of Europe, using official national databases. The project provides a European geographic information infrastructure that is maintained at the source level by the NMCAs.

The EuroGlobalMap and EuroRegionalMap data models define thematic layers that participating countries use as a standard for structuring and building their feature datasets. The EuroGlobalMap model currently contains six themes and 23 feature classes, while the EuroRegionalMap model contains seven themes and 52 feature classes. The EuroGlobalMap and EuroRegionalMap base data can be used in conjunction with other local, national, and business data for compiling comprehensive datasets tailored to each organization.

Applications range from general map production to more advanced analyses, including transportation/routing, environmental assessment, customer/market profiling, and retail location analyses. Additionally, these map products and analyses can be delivered to the European user community through a common Web interface.

In the past, NMCA datasets varied greatly from country to country and were often unsuitable for GIS implementation in a cross-border application because of their specificity to a particular country. Today, working with common specifications, data models, and georeferencing systems, each NMCA is contributing consistent, high-quality data to the European database. In turn, responsibility for collection and maintenance of a contiguous European dataset has been successfully distributed among contributing countries. Government and commercial users alike are realizing numerous benefits from utilizing these two datasets.

Through this collaborative effort, interoperability of European mapping and data collection efforts has been achieved and NMCAs can now leverage the EuroRegionalMap and Euro- GlobalMap models in a complete production environment, allowing them to focus resources on collection and maintenance of data specific to their organizational needs. The compilation and coordination of national datasets assist the public and private sectors in developing good governance and maintaining sustainable economic development into the future.

More Information

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