Following the already well-established tradition, we are happy to renew our partnership with the Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo), centred around the shared values of openness, transparency, reuse and reproducibility applied to all dimensions, from data to software and standards. Concretely, this partnership will translate into a full-day dedicated track at FOSS4G Europe 2024, titled FOSS4G “Made in Europe”.
Open source software, including FOSS4G, is central to the European Commission’s activities. Our Open source software strategy 2020-2023, entitled ‘Think Open’, 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. The strategy builds on other important policy 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 European scale. The recent Decision on the open source licensing and reuse of Commission software complements the Open source strategy, by addressing, among others, the Commission’s contribution to existing open source projects.
The European Commission is a strong user and supporter of open source geospatial software. For example the majority of our 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, including 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, and several related policy initiatives dealing with geospatial data such as the Implementing Act on high-value datasets and the common European Green Deal data space, whose implementation will strongly rely on open source software. In addition, open source technology plays an important role as technical enabler for the interconnection of existing Earth Observations 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.