Authoritative Geodata in a European context

Joep Crompvoets (EuroSDR/KU Leuven)

Societies are increasingly digitalizing more aspects of daily life. A basic building block for digitalization is data. This data is being integrated within and across public administrations, but also across borders and across the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. High quality data is a necessary criterion to ensure the quality of digital services, to make better decisions and to drive innovation. The recognition and organization of data as authoritative should be vital not only for ensuring data quality, but also to foster trust between public sector organizations, between different sectors and across borders. Especially in the context of geospatial and statistical data, the exchange and integration of authoritative data has advanced significantly. Important challenges however still need to be addressed. Authoritative is a term that one often hears when someone is describing geospatial data. Many mapping, cadastral, land registry (NMCAs) and statistics agencies promote their geospatial and other data as authoritative or as created from authoritative sources. Although authoritative data sounds impressive, it is important to understand what it really means. The main objective of this presentation is twofold: to provide a better and more comprehensive understanding of the definition of authoritative data, its rationale, added value(s), challenges, policies, and the organization of authoritative geospatial data across Europe; and to help NMCAs and statistics agencies to better produce and sustain the usage of authoritative data in the (near) future. Moreover, it might enhance a better communication and understanding amongst NMCAs and statistics agencies about the generic meaning of the term.