Geographical data, or geodata, is the second data category most re-used and consulted by companies in the member states of the European Union, behind statistical data. Geodata is information that implicitly or explicitly refers to a location relative to the earths surface and allows us to better understand our environment, especially in combination with socio-cultural, economic or environmental data.
Geodata has great re-use potential because it can be integrated into different applications to enrich their services by providing more information. Countries around the world have recognised the benefits and opportunities of geodata and are addressing the challenges of exploiting the data.
In Spain, the official cartography source that provides geographic data is the National Geographic Institute (IGN). The IGN is a public body within the Ministry of Development that is responsible for measuring and collecting information from land surfaces and making it available to users in different formats, such as official maps, cartographies, images and data files. In addition, the IGN shares free geographical datasets through its Download Center that can be re-used to create multiple applications of geodata re-use and services.
For more information about how Spain is exploiting geodata and overcoming challenges to its use, read the Spanish Open Data Portal's article.