European Commission partnering with FOSS4G 2023

The European Commission is honoured to join the global community of open source geospatial enthusiasts gathering from 26 June to 2 July at the FOSS4G 2023 conference. We will contribute to the event with a full-day dedicated track titled Open source geospatial ‘Made in Europe’.

The partnership with the Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo) is centred around the shared values of openness, transparency, reuse and reproducibility applied to all dimensions, from data to software and standards.

The institution’s activities around FOSS4G are naturally flowing from the recent Open source software strategy 2020-2023 entitled ‘Think Open’, which identifies open source software solutions as key building blocks to deliver better European services, innovate society and increase security, in addition to actively committing to support open source projects and developer communities. This strategy builds on other important initiatives including the European strategy for data, and the upcoming Interoperable Europe Act, whereby open source software helps ensure interoperability and technological sovereignty in key societal areas at the European scale. Supporting the Open source strategy is the recent Decision on the open source licensing and reuse of Commission software, including the contribution to open source projects.

The European Commission is a strong user and supporter of open source geospatial software. For example the majority of the Commission web mapping building blocks as well as underlying Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are based on open source software. All these tools support geospatial aggregation for pan-European data analysis in a multitude of domains, for example statistical production, environment, agriculture, transport, education, research and smart cities.

Well-known examples include INSPIRE, the pan-European spatial data infrastructure that strongly relies on open source components, as well as the recently published Implementing Act on high-value datasets whose implementation will strongly rely on open source software, and the European Green Deal data space. In addition, open source technology plays a vital role as technical enabler for the interconnection of existing digital infrastructures, thus feeding into EuroGEO – Europe’s contribution to the Group on Earth Observations (GEO). Geospatial open source software, open data standards and formats are also increasingly used within the activities of Copernicus, the European Union’s Earth observation programme, for data distribution and access.