Mapping and understanding Earth: Open access to digital geoscience data and knowledge supports societal needs and UN sustainable development goals

Klaus Hinsby, Philippe Négrel, Daniel de Oliveira, Renata Barros, Guri Venvik, Anna Ladenberger, Jasper Griffioen, Kris Piessens, Philippe Calcagno, Gregor Götzl, Hans Peter Broers, Laurence Gourcy, Sytze van Heteren, Julie Hollis, Eleftheria Poyiadji, Dana Čápová, Jørgen Tulstrup

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftArtikelForskningpeer review


Open access to harmonised digital data describing Earth's surface and subsurface holds immense value for society. This paper highlights the significance of open access to digital geoscience data ranging from the shallow topsoil or seabed to depths of 5 km. Such data play a pivotal role in facilitating endeavours such as renewable geoenergy solutions, resilient urban planning, supply of critical raw materials, assessment and protection of water resources, mitigation of floods and droughts, identification of suitable locations for carbon capture and storage, development of offshore wind farms, disaster risk reduction, and conservation of ecosystems and biodiversity. EuroGeoSurveys, the Geological Surveys of Europe, have worked diligently for over a decade to ensure open access to harmonised digital European geoscience data and knowledge through the European Geological Data Infrastructure (EGDI). EGDI acts as a data and information resource for providing wide-ranging geoscience data and research, as this paper demonstrates through selected research data and information on four vital natural resources: geoenergy, critical raw materials, water, and soils. Importantly, it incorporates near real-time remote and in-situ monitoring data, thus constituting an invaluable up-to-date database that facilitates informed decision-making, policy implementation, sustainable resource management, the green transition, achieving UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the envisioned future of digital twins in Earth sciences. EGDI and its thematic map viewer are tailored, continuously enhanced, and developed in collaboration with all relevant researchers and stakeholders. Its primary objective is to address societal needs by providing data for sustainable, secure, and integrated management of surface and subsurface resources, effectively establishing a geological service for Europe. We argue that open access to surface and subsurface geoscience data is crucial for an efficient green transition to a net-zero society, enabling integrated and coherent surface and subsurface spatial planning.

Antal sider15
TidsskriftInternational Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation
StatusUdgivet - jun. 2024


  • Programområde 2: Vandressourcer
  • Programområde 1: Data


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