EuroSpec could adopt as its own the following words taken from the introduction of the Proposal for the INSPIRE Directive (of 27 Jul 2004):

“Policies need to be employed to reduce duplicated data collection and to assist and promote the harmonisation, broad dissemination and use of data. Such policies should result in increased efficiency, the benefits of which can be reinvested in improving the availability and quality of information. ….
… Spatial information can play a special role in this new approach because it allows information to be integrated from a variety of disciplines for a variety of uses. A coherent and widely accessible spatial description of the Community territory would deliver the requisite framework for coordinating information delivery and monitoring across the Community.

Within the very wide field of spatial information, reference information plays a crucial role, as being the foundation of the whole infrastructure. The need for seamless access to pan-European or cross border reference information is becoming increasingly apparent. The main drivers for this can be seen:

  • within the European Commission, in particular to support the development, implementation and monitoring of policies and directives; and,
  • in the private sector, particularly in the road transport market.

The strategic goals for EuroSpec, aligned with the general EuroGeographics strategy, are meant therefore to answer that demand within the scope of the above vision. They are not cut from previous EuroGeographics’ strategy, but must rather be viewed as ambitious extension of the previous strategies and achievements, to meet today’s expectations and needs.

The strategic goals addressed by EuroSpec are:

1. EuroGeographics members the NMCAs being the official custodian of national Base Reference Information, need to expand their role to being collectively also the leading suppliers of pan-European and cross-border Reference Information.

Thus going beyond the current successes of harmonised pan-European small scale products: SABE, EuroGlobalMap and EuroRegionalMap.

2. EuroSpec will provide the foundation of the ESDI by defining information and product specifications that will be recognized as standard by the industry and will underpin the geographic information overall interoperability.

Building on the current harmonised EuroRegionalMap specifications developed on the DIGEST standard and the FACC catalogue, and on the findings of various interoperability projects such as GiMoDig.

3. EuroSpec will clarify and simplify the pricing and licensing of pan-European data by creating a common framework.

Extending the achievements of the current agreements that allow licensing information from some 40 different owners under common terms, to refined concepts and principles that can be implemented for distributed Internet services, while respecting national legal frameworks and business strategies.

4. EuroSpec will establish a distributed service infrastructure to enable users across Europe to access interoperable high quality up-to-date reference information, metadata and geodetic services.

A considerable shift from the current main products supported by a centralised organisation, the EuroSpec distributed service infrastructure will allow direct access to the national main Base Reference Information sources, in their most up-to-date status.

5. EuroSpec will forge partnerships with the key actors of the European GI marketplace, and establish a sustainable financial model to address and minimise the costs involved in producing and using pan-European reference information.

Developing the existing collaboration with key pan-European players (such as the EC, EUREF, EuroSDR, EUROGI), industrial partners and service providers, as well as with each member NMCA.