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Projects :: EGN

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EGN: EuroGeoNames - developing a European geographical names infrastructure and services

A European multilingual geographical names data infrastructure and support service.

Access to consistent and reliable multilingual geographical names is essential for a number of uses including postal services, emergency services, navigation, tourism, property purchases, the mass media and applications (eg Google Earth). In all of these areas, geographic names provide one of the most important keys for referencing and accessing a variety of related information.

The EuroGeoNames (EGN) project will provide access to multilingual geographical names data and related toponymic attributes (e.g. the language of the name, its gender, its related exonyms, its pronunciation, if it is available, etc.) via the Internet. The service will be equally accessible by all languages officially spoken in the participating European countries, and will include officially recognized minority languages.

The appeal of a multilingual solution to Internet searches for geoinformation is apparent if one starts from the perspective of a user (picture left). Germans and Austrians may like to start their internet search with the geographical name "Donau" whereas a Hungarian may like to start with "Duna", a Serbian or Bulgarian with "Dunav", a Romanian or Moldovian with "Dunărea“ and a Slovakian or Ukrainian with “Dunaj“.

From the technical point of view, the EuroGeoNames (EGN) project is creating a European infrastructure of differently organized geographical names data sources and is setting up an interoperable web services’ architecture compliant to open standards (specifically ISO and OGC WFS standards).

An "EGN Central (WFS) Service" will access the distributed "EGN Local (WFS) Services" at each data provider (National Mapping and Cadastral Agencies - NMCAs) to query the EGN data network and return standardized result sets to the inquirer. Additionally, a database of exonyms and other variant names comprises important names of geographical features in the official languages, not maintained by the NMCAs. It is a supplement database to the EGN Central Service and will be linked to it by unique identifiers.

The project consortium brings together partners from the public, academic and private sectors embracing the full ‘value chain’ from data providers via technology partners to value added service applications. This lays the ground for a successful project that will make a major contribution to opening up public sector information within a wider European spatial (geographic) information infrastructure.

Contact information

ZACCHEDDU Pier-Giorgio
Richard Strauss Allee 11
60598 FRANKFURT AM MAIN
GERMANY
Tel. +49 (0)69 6333 305
Fax. +49 (0)69 6333 441

Participants

Coordinator: BUNDESAMT FUER KARTOGRAPHIE UND GEODAESIE, GERMANY

Participating partners:

Organisation Country
BUNDESAMT FUER KARTOGRAPHIE UND GEODAESIE GERMANY
BUNDESAMT FUR EICH-UND VERMESSUNGSWESEN AUSTRIA
EUROGEOGRAPHICS FRANCE
PRO DV SOFTWARE AG GERMANY
GEOTASK GMBH GERMANY
ESRI GEOINFORMATIK GMBH GERMANY
GEODETSKA UPRAVA REPUBLIKE SLOVENIJE REPUBLIC OF SLOVENIA
UNIVERSITEIT UTRECHT THE NETHERLANDS
GEODAN SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT & TECHNOLOGY B.V. THE NETHERLANDS
THE UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH UNITED KINGDOM

Last update: 05/01/2009

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