The CENTROPE pilot project ‘Map’: We draw a common map

How is the population distributed across the CENTROPE region? What are the differences with respect to educational and professional qualification levels in different partner regions? Which enterprises have settled in what spots, and where can development potentials be identified? To obtain a differentiated picture of CENTROPE, statistical data must be drawn upon. Geographic information systems (GIS) permit the graphic representation of such information in the form of maps as well as spatial analyses. Above all for planners, GIS are therefore important tools to e.g. prepare optimised plans of the infrastructure requirements of a region. But enterprises, too, benefit from spatial information, for example in their selection of a location for their business activities. The systematic collection and visualisation of spatial data in CENTROPE therefore constitutes a significant step towards joint regional planning and development.

In co-operation with statistical offices and GIS-related authorities the pilot project ‘CENTROPE Map’ served to lay the foundation for a cross-border geo-data pool. In the future, it should be possible to offer users online data material and analyses and thus to improve the level of knowledge concerning the new European region. As a portal for digitised information on the Central European Region, ‘CENTROPE Map’ will create a basis for co-ordinating cross-border projects and plans in such areas as traffic, the environment and urban development. The data collection methods and the rights of use pertaining to this information need to be clarified as well. For this reason, the preparation of a cross-border geo-data infrastructure can only be viewed as a medium-term process whose development will proceed in relation to regulations at the national and, increasingly, also at the European levels.