The European Autumn

This year it’s fashionable to associate exciting changes with a season.  With holidays over and a rapid move into Autumn it looks as if the Arab Spring will be competing with a European Autumn for headlines whilst the chances of an Indian Summer fade from hope.

In the EuroGeo world I enjoyed the summerINSPIRE and ICA conferences.  These were great opportunities to show off how the mapping and cadastral agencies of Europe can technically work together, advancing plans and proving technologies for a European Spatial data Infrastructure and supporting the PSI directive.

The Autumn tends to be where the political work happens.

Reading the Times this morning the word from our ministers in the UK is that they want further distance from Brussels.  In the UK the belief in the European monetary union is at rock-bottom.  “You can’t have monetary union without political Union” Chancelor Kohl once said.  A call from the past to really form a meaningful bond before deploying the tactics of your union.

Perhaps Helmut’s thinking can apply with the benefit of hindsight in the coming together of official geo data from the member states.  EuroGeographics projects prove the technical feasibility of harmonising this data in an increasingly automated way.  The challenge will be implementing this in a way that all the mapping and cadastral agencise and all their different internal policies can adopt.

The challenge is far from impossible, in fact it’s highly feasible (implementation on many fronts has already begun, see previous link) , and with some of the up-font will, cooperation and infrastructure (political and physical) in place I believe we can succeed.

So, the GeoAutumn marks a move to maturity in working relationship between mapping and cadastral agencies together.  I certainly cannot see the Autumn as a period of  decline in that regard.  More it is a time we can harvest from the work so far and build the working relationships we need to open up this vital resource for all.

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