In the first Joint UNECE / Eurostat / UN-GGIM: Europe Workshop on Integrating Statistical and Geospatial Data that took place on 4-5 October 2023 in Belgrade (Serbia), the EFGS President and some members of EFGS Steering Committee, presented the main outcomes of the GEOSTAT 4 project and ongoing activities of their organisations, respectively.
The EFGS President (Chair), Ingrid Kaminger (Statistics Austria) and Rossano Figueiredo (Statistics Portugal) presented the background of the GEOSTAT projects, the main outcomes of the GEOSTAT 4 project, highlighting the User Guide, the Library and the GSGF: Europe GEOSTAT Information Service that introduce and contain all documents and guidance materials produced throughout the years and that support the implementation of the GSGF attending the European statistical-geospatial operating environment. Current and future challenges, opportunities and recommendations covering both technical and non-technical aspects were also outlined by the presenters.
In addition, some members of EFGS Steering Committee and participants of GEOSTAT 4 project presented on going activities and projects of their organisations aligned with the implementation of the GSGF Europe and expanding the showcase of good practices and business cases in the context of statistical-geospatial data integration. Panu Muhli (National Land Survey of Finland) and Mervi Haakana – with the contribution of Rina Tammisto – (Statistics Finland) presented a national cross-domain stakeholders network as the key tool for the integration of statistics and geospatial information in Finland. This 2-years project funded by the European Union applies the GSGF and GSGF Europe in Finland, involves three organisations (Statistics Finland, Finnish Environment Institute and Land Survey of Finland), assess the current status against the GSGF key elements and studies the role and opportunities of the network addressing collaboration and strategy issues. Justin McGurk (Statistics Ireland) shared a more practical case of enabling data linkage on pseudonymised address data addressing the first two principles of GSGF on reference geospatial infrastructure, geocoding and geospatially enabled statistical/administrative unit record data in a data management environment. The presentation exposed a standardised process (data and workflows) to ensure that address data is regularly updated in a timely manner and properly linked to administrative data while preserving data confidentiality when conducting matching/linking and spatial analysis (e.g., point-to-polygon). Jerker Mostrom (Statistics Sweden) pointed out what are and can be fundamental data domains at the national level to support statistical-geospatial data integration, highlighting the need for a higher stage of data integration, the potential of digital transformation and the importance of harmonised, interoperable, cross-domain and reusable data, especially produced by public institutions. In this regard, the principles for national fundamental data are proposed, such as societal benefits, reusability (“once-only”) which requires a change of paradigm in data collection, public open data with interoperability requirements, consistent metadata and safety conditions.
The presentations are freely available and can be easily downloaded for consultation purposes.