Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Study on demand and supply for geographic information (GI) in Europe

The European Commission, DG XIII, has published a call for tender for the completion of a study on demand and supply for geographic information (GI) in Europe, including base data.

Geographic information is assuming growing importance as spatial referencing capability becomes more common in inexpensive software tools and it is becoming possible to unlock the spatial content of many different types of information. It is expected that whole new categories of user will begin to use new types of geographic information in novel ways, creating new markets for tools, data and services.

However, the collection and processing of geographic information represents a significant percentage of the total cost of implementation of any geographic information system, typical figures ranging from 60% to 80%, depending upon the nature of the system. The largest on-going cost of such systems is maintenance of the data, continued data collection and conversion, integration from multiple data sets, and other data-related issues.

Availability of reliable, well-researched data on the European market for geographic information is paramount for justifying future expenditure in collecting new geographic information for European users, and pan-European applications, or for converting and/or integrating existing geographic information.

GIS (Geographic Information System) market studies produced so far by major international market research companies have focused on GIS software, hardware and services. None of the existing studies have focused on geographic information (data) supply, use and potential.

The concept of geographic base data has been advanced to define that set of geographic information which should exist and be readily accessible (at a justifiable cost) so that the widest possible range of applications can be effected on a local, national and regional basis. By querying users and potential users of geographic information as to their information requirements, it will be possible to better define geographic information base data, and then to examine the cost of producing, maintaining and disseminating that data.

The object of this study will be to collect data on the availability and actual and potential use of geographic information in Europe, which will help policy makers and planners, in both the public and private sectors, to prepare more effectively for future growth in the use of geographic information throughout Europe, at local, national and regional level. The information will also contribute to a precise definition for European geographic information base data.

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