Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


Geographic Information (GI) helps governments and EU institutions make informed decisions in a wide range of areas from environmental protection to spatial and urban planning. As European integration advances, also businesses, public organisations and citizens are taking a more European view of their activities.

A common reference system for geographic information is needed as a first step to ensure that data is compatible across Europe. In its Fifth Framework Programme for Research and Development, the Space Applications Institute (SAI) of the Joint Research Centre (JRC) has defined and is now implementing a project called "GI/GIS: Harmonisation and Interoperability", the objectives of which support the policy, data related, and technical initiatives necessary for the integrated assessment of EU policies. The activities of MEGRIN which represents the interests of the European National Mapping Agencies are complementary to those of SAI. With these considerations in mind, SAI and MEGRIN organised this workshop on Spatial Reference System for Europe, giving a clear indication of the priority attached by both organisations to this topic.

The workshop established that a suitable candidate as European Spatial Reference System already exists: ETRS89. There is consensus amongst the experts that this is the system to adopt at the European level, and several countries have already done so. It is not realistic to require all existing data in the Member States to be transformed into this new system -not even in the medium term.

However, it could be required for all new data collected and for updates to existing data. In addition there is also a need for Mapping Agencies to make public the transformation algorithms and parameters for converting the data between national systems and ETRS89.

Additional information

Authors: ANNONI A, JRC, Ispra (IT);LUZET C (EDITORS), Megrin, Marne-La Valee (FR)
Bibliographic Reference: EUR 19575 EN (2000) 73pp
Availability: Available from OOPEC L-2985 Luxembourg
ISBN: not available ref: EUR 19
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