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International collaboration

The Agency for Data Supply and Infrastructure collaborates with many organisations in other countries with the aim of coordinating and developing the accessibility and use of geospatial data in, among other places, the EU, the UN, and the Arctic.

We provide data, and also exchange experiences on data policies, methods and standards, as well as on how to bring data into play. Below you will find a brief description of the areas of cooperation.

The Agency for Data Supply and Infrastructure works closely with the mapping authorities in other Nordic countries, as well as Canada, Russia and the United States, on the development of a digital infrastructure for geospatial data for the Arctic (Arctic SDI). These activities support the work of the Arctic Council and other users of Arctic data. Our main goal here is significantly improved access and use, as well as free exchange of data in the Arctic region.

Arctic SDI has developed a coherent Arctic reference and background map, based on national data infrastructures. The Arctic SDI Geoportal provides easy access to this data as well as other datasets, which can be used in many contexts.

Arctic SDI also advises on how other organisations' data can be made accessible and useful to users of Arctic data, as well as supporting the Arctic Council's development of a common Arctic elevation model.

Read more on the Arctic SDI GeoPortal and on the Arctic SDI website.

The Nordic mapping authorities in Denmark, Finland, the Faroe Islands, Greenland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden cooperate and exchange ideas and experiences within their respective areas of government. Within the Nordic cooperation, a number of work groups have been established, which work on specific projects such as standardisation and use of geospatial information across borders.

The Nordic cooperation also supports having joint representation in certain international organisations boards and committees, such as EuroGeographics and Arctic SDI. The authorities also share experiences and knowledge on international policies, including the implementation of EU directives.

Nordic meetings are convened twice a year. In spring, the directors of the Nordic mapping authorities meet and discuss current topics and strategic issues; and at the end of the summer, a larger group of managers from the Nordic mapping authorities meet to discuss the results of joint Nordic projects as well as new projects and partnerships. The Nordic cooperation is a valuable platform for sharing knowledge and resources.

INSPIRE (INfrastructure for SPatial InfoRmation in Europe) is an EU directive that will ensure the creation of a common European geospatial infrastructure. INSPIRE aims to improve the usability of geospatial information across national borders within the EU.

INSPIRE supports cross-border policy-making by facilitating the exchange of data between public authorities and supporting easier access to geospatial information across Europe for the public. Through a common set of rules based on international standards, the coherence and accessibility of Member States’ infrastructures for geospatial information is ensured. INSPIRE is based on the same standards used in the Danish infrastructure for geospatial information, thus supporting the general development in this area. The Agency for Data Supply and Infrastructure aims to use the five INSPIRE principles in Denmark:

  • Data shall only be collected once
  • Data must be maintained where it is most efficient
  • It should be easy to get an overview of which data and services are available
  • Data must be usable together wherever it comes from
  • Beneficial conditions must be instituted for data to be used by many users in a wide range of applications.

The INSPIRE directive came into force in 2007 and will be fully implemented in 2021. The Ministry of Energy, Utilities and Climate (via The Agency for Data Supply and Infrastructure) is responsible for implementing the directive in Denmark. The Agency for Data Supply and Infrastructure is the national INSPIRE contact point, as well as the contact point for the European Commission.

Read more about the Danish implementation of INSPIRE

EuroGeographics is the pan-European membership association of the European national mapping, cadastre and land registry authorities. It serves as a platform for policy development, and sharing knowledge and experience on geospatial information across borders in Europe. Eurogeographics has 63 members in 46 countries.

EuroGeographics works to promote the development of a common European Spatial Data Infrastructure (ESDI), based on national geospatial data. It also produces pan-European products combining datasets from national mapping, cadastre and land registry authorities, ensuring that their national geoinformation is used in European Commission policy and funding decisions, and as a basis for compiling statistics and monitoring environmental policy. EuroGeographics also coordinates interdisciplinary relationships with the statistical community, standardisation bodies and research environments, among others. Furthermore, EuroGeographics holds the secretariat role for UN-GGIM.

Through its projects and activities, EuroGeographics functions as a knowledge channel that provides the Agency for Data Supply and Infrastructure with information on other countries' technological developments.

Read more about EuroGeographics

UN-GGIM (United Nations Committee on Global Geospatial Information Management) is a UN committee, established in 2011 to support the development of a global geospatial infrastructure. The Agency for Data Supply and Infrastructure represents Denmark in UN-GGIM.

The UN is dealing with many issues that are cross-border in nature, and in this context a global geospatial infrastructure can support actions related to matters such as regional and global environmental and climate challenges. Geospatial information is a unique contribution to UN-related activities, supporting them with a spatial component across national borders and sectors.

UN-GGIM has delivered several tangible results; including a global geodetic reference framework (GGRF), a comprehensive international guide to geospatial standards, and not least a contribution to the monitoring and follow-up on the Sustainable Development Goals in the 2030 agenda.

The Agency for Data Supply and Infrastructure participates in the development of new methods to measure the Sustainable Development Goals indicators, associated with the UN 2030 agenda. With this initiative, we aim to ensure that geospatial information contributes to a more accurate and comparable follow-up on the 2030 agenda goals. The experience from UN-GGIM and the work on the 2030 agenda, helps to demonstrate geography's ability to link different sources of information. It also serves to highlight the strength of geospatial information when formulating policies and measuring the impact of initiatives.

Read more about UN-GGIM

UNGEGN (United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names) is a UN body with approximately 400 members from more than 100 countries, with the main purpose of standardising place names.

Together with the University of Copenhagen, the Agency for Data Supply and Infrastructure participates in UNGEGN and meets annually with the other Nordic countries to prepare and coordinate joint initiatives through the UNGEGN Nordic Division.

UNGEGN's mission is laid down in a number of resolutions, and incorporates:

  • Organisation of member state place name authorities
  • Place name principles (what is adapted, who can decide a name, etc.)
  • Protection of linguistic minorities (e.g. German in South Jutland)
  • Place names as cultural history
  • International naming of countries
  • Rules for endonyms/exonyms (e.g. København/Copenhagen)

In terms of roles in UNGEGN, The Agency for Data Supply and Infrastructure is the responsible authority for the registration of place names in Denmark, focusing specifically on the geospatial angle and database system. Whereas the University of Copenhagen, which has chairmanship of the place names committee, is primarily concerned with the linguistic elements of this. Our participation in UNGEGN allows us to follow and influence international standards for place names.

Read more about UNGEGN

ISO (International Organization for Standardization) develops standards for a wide range of areas, including geospatial information. The Agency for Data Supply and Infrastructure is a member of ISO/TC 211. the technical ISO subcommittee dealing with geospatial information. The work of the committee aims to establish a set of structured standards for information concerning objects or phenomena that are directly or indirectly associated with a location relative to the Earth.

The ISO/TC 211 standards specify methods, tools and services for data management. They describe how to access, process, analyse and present geospatial information; as well as how to transfer data between different systems. This also relates to relevant IT standards, which support the development of sector-specific programs applying geospatial data.

The Agency for Data Supply and Infrastructure is, via its membership of the Danish standardisation organisation, Dansk Standard, the Danish representative in ISO/TC 211. Through this involvement, the Agency is able to influence the work in ISO/TC 211, in compliance with the Danish geospatial infrastructure.

Read more about ISO/TC211

OGC (Open Geospatial Consortium) is an international not-for-profit organisation committed to making open standards for the establishment, dissemination and use of geospatial information. Members come from government, commercial organisations, NGOs, as well as academic and research institutions.

The development of standards evolves through a consensus process, and OGC standards are freely accessible to all in order to improve the exchange of geospatial data.

OGC standards are used within a wide range of disciplines including environmental, defence, health, agriculture, meteorology and sustainable development.

The Agency for Data Supply and Infrastructure follows the activities of the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) and uses a wide range of implementation standards and specifications developed by OGC.

Read more about OGC

EuroSDR (European Spatial Data Research) is a pan-European organisation. Through a network of delegates EuroSDR promotes applied research on topics related to geospatial information. The network has participation from national mapping and cadastral agencies, academic institutes, the private sector, industry and user groups. The research addresses the collection, handling and distribution of geospatial data and services, and is combined with international workshops and courses to ensure the relevance and focus of the research.

Read more about EuroSDR

Citizens and businesses often encounter barriers when they are in contact and dialogue with another country's public administration. The problems are often a result of unfamiliar IT systems and digital channels. The European Commission aims to improve this situation. To this end The European Commissionand has launched a programme called ISA2. The programme supports the development of digital solutions that enable public administrations, businesses and citizens in Europe to benefit from interoperable cross-border and cross-sector public services. By defining terms and meanings, EU citizens will be able to recognize administrative concepts from their home country.

ISA2 also comprises activities for "geospatial solutions". As an example, INSPIRE is emphasised as an initiative which can make sharing and reuse of geospatial data easier. A working group with participation of the Agency for Data Supply and Infrastructure is setting up a framework paving the way for effective data sharing. This provides member state administrations with a framework for data sharing and reuse. The working group will also conduct pilot projects. These projects aims to show how geospatial information can be used in common European solutions, such as a common European address gazetteer.