Tag Archive for 'TIGER'

European geodata

EUROSTATWhat’s TIGER in the US, is GISCO in Europe. Not quite as detailed and up to date but at least free to use under following conditions:

a) the data will not be used for commercial purposes;
b) the source will be acknowledged. A copyright notice, as specified below, will have to be visible on any printed or electronic publication using the data downloaded from this page.

The available geodata is aimed to use in combination with other EUROSTAT products (which are also available for free on their website) in the first place. The scale is too small for detailed map production and on most layers the date is indicated with 199x.

If the left hand of EUROSTAT would know what the right hand is doing, everybody who is interested could now start creating statistical maps and analysis across Europe by simply downloading all necessary data. Unfortunately it’s not as easy as it seems to be: the left hand changed the statistical units in Europe (NUTS), while the other hand didn’t. So what we now have is a statistical database using new region codes and a geographic database using old region codes. Needless to say that a lot of GIS out there, working with EUROSTAT data, are now somewhat screwed because geographic and statistical data doesn’t match anymore. A workaround until updated geodata is available is not using the NUTS3 level, NUTS2 (and larger) data seems less problematic. Not the best solution if you’re in the field of regional analysis of course.

Just one more detail on today’s EUROSTAT confusion:

http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/ramon/nuts/changes_1999_en.html
http://ec.europa.eu/comm/eurostat/ramon/nuts/changes_1999_en.html

Apparently the www-directory was copied. One copy was updated. Now which one of both sites holds the correct information? All bookmarks lead to the old one, no hint (or redirect??) that the entire site has moved and was updated…

Update

Regarding interoperability and openness, the downloadable geodata comes as ESRI Personal Geodatabase 9.2, not sure how many GIS applications can cope with that file format. Whereas provided metadata is excellent, well, GISCO already had excellent metadata in 2001.