Enhancement of Eurostat spatial data: what we can(not) do with available LAU2 units?

Vit Paszto (Palacký University Olomouc)

Eurostat’s Geographical Information and Maps (GISCO) provides numerous spatial data sources that are freely available to use. However, when dealing with the finer resolution of pan-European administrative units, i.e. the most detailed LAU2 units – communes, the practical data usability is rather low. A question then arises – what can or cannon we do with such data? This contribution critically discusses the actual state-of-the-art of such dataset from the user perspective and proposes possible ways, how to enhance LAU2 data by information from other freely available sources. And lastly, the presentation will showcase some possible applications of enriched LAU2 dataset. We will show how better geodata could impose better policy made by the European Union’s decision-makers. The presentation is divided into three parts. First, we present issues raised during joining “simple” population tables with LAU2 spatial data (timely issues, different coding systems, to the overall coherence of data, etc.). Second, we introduce our approach of enriching the Eurostat’s/GISCO’s LAU2 dataset with the use of OpenStreetMap, Corine Land Cover, and other data sources covering European countries. The presented approach is relatively simple from the GIS perspective, thus easily adopted by wider geographical/statistical community. The enhancement of LAU2 administrative units by various spatial objects opens new pathways for spatial data analysis and studies, which will be shown in the third part of the presentation. Specifically, a study on rural-urban delimitation will be highlighted.