Partnership agreement ensures access to reliable mapping data for European disaster and crisis response

17 November 2011

EuroGeographics and the European Environment Agency (EEA) put national mapping and cadastral agencies’ data at heart of the GMES emergency management service

Emergency services working in the immediate aftermath of disasters will benefit from fast access to pan-European mapping created from interoperable, geospatial data thanks to an agreement between EuroGeographics and the European Environment Agency (EEA).

The agreement, signed yesterday (16th November) at the Group on Earth Observation (GEO) plenary in Istanbul, will improve access to data from national mapping and cadastral agencies in Europe to help provide a common operational picture for those involved in crisis management to work from. Civil protection agencies, national and local emergency services, humanitarian aid organisations and European Union bodies will all be able to use the rush-mode mapping and damage assessment maps created as part of the GMES emergency management service. This service may be activated on any day at any time and aims to provide reference maps just 6 hours after gaining access to earth observation data and damage assessment maps within 24 hours.

“Our members are committed to maintaining their national geospatial data and making this available. They are, therefore delighted to work with the EEA to contribute to this important initiative that will benefit people right across Europe,” says Ingrid Vanden Berghe, President of EuroGeographics, the Association for European national mapping, land registry and cadastral agencies.

“In turn, EuroGeographics is very pleased to be able to facilitate the delivery of members’ data to the GMES emergency management service. This agreement creates a framework in which to provide our members’ definitive, high-quality and reliable geospatial data, as well as their extensive knowledge, with those operating and benefiting from the GMES emergency management service.”

“Disasters in Europe are more frequent and more damaging than ten years ago,” Jacqueline McGlade, Executive Director of the EEA, said. “We need to be able to respond even more quickly to all kinds of disasters, such as floods, storms, earthquakes and industrial accidents. This agreement is extremely important, bringing together the most up-to-date geospatial data to rapidly produce emergency response maps. This collaboration will save lives.”

The importance of GMES is to provide easily, accessible information at the global level by acquiring and analysing precise and useful data for those involved in environmental monitoring and civil protection. The value of the GMES emergency management service has already been recognised particularly in response to flooding and humanitarian disasters. One of the key aims of the GMES emergency management service is the provision of  pre-emergency asset information in affected areas, in particular infrastructure, impact extent delineation, quantification and grading of damage. It will also provide information to follow the evolution of the emergency situation in the hours and days after the service activation request.


For further information please contact EuroGeographics’ Secretary General and Executive Director, Dave Lovell, on +32 2 888 71 93, +32 848 663 345 (mobile), email:; Patricia Sokacova, EuroGeographics‘ Membership and Communication Manager on +421 903 056 418/+421 948 388 908, email:; or Rhian French on +44 1264 338375, +447892 698 350 (mobile), email:

Notes to Editors

EuroGeographics is an international not-for-profit organisation (AISBL/ IVZW under Belgian Law. BCE registration:  833 607 112) and the membership association for the European national mapping, land registry and cadastral agencies. It brings together 56 members from 45 countries, from Portugal to the Ukraine and Iceland to Turkey.
EuroGeographics’ members invest around €1.5 billion in the development of geographical information each year and use cutting-edge technology to create, manage, maintain and make available authoritative national databases.
EuroGeographics members are developing an infrastructure to integrate their national data – including topographic and land information – to deliver the definitive pan-European location framework for a wide range of uses. By sharing best practice and creating standard data specifications and policies, EuroGeographics aims to ensure that members’ individual geographical databases are compatible and can interact with one another. This will provide Europe with the high quality geographical information it needs to develop policies and legislation for the environment, business competitiveness, public services, legal systems, security and more.

To find out more about EuroGeographics, please visit
To see our members’ geographical information in action, please visit our showcase at

EEA is an agency of the European Union. It is dedicated to providing objective, reliable and comparable information on the environment. The aim of the EEA is to ensure that the decision-makers and the general public are kept informed about the state and outlook of the environment. The EEA works in partnership with government departments and agencies, in particular through the Eionet (European Environment Information and Observation Network), international conventions and UN bodies, the scientific community, private sector and civil society. The EEA coordinates Eionet, which consists of the EEA itself, a number of European Topic Centres (ETCs) and a network of experts from member countries in national environment agencies and other bodies dealing with environmental information.

With the support of Eionet, EEA leads on the technical coordination of the GMES In-situ Coordination (GISC) project for the European Earth Observation Programme Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES).

To find out more about the European Environment Agency, please visit
To find out more about the GISC project, please visit

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