We are celebrating last June was the 5th anniversary of the birth of EGDI. On the other hand it is the 3rd anniversary of GeoERA that started in July 2018.
Now all the functionalities of EGDI have been improved and enhanced by all the hard work developed by GeoERA Information Platform Project (GIP-P).
Let’s have a look back:
EGDI background and first implementation of the infraestructura (EGDI versión 1)
In 2008 a flagship project funded by the EU was launched with the participation of 20 national surveys as a logical follow-up of the global OneGeology initiative (www.onegeology.org). The OneGeologyEurope project produced a distributed, web-based surface geological map of Europe that was harmonised with a common data structure and agreed geological classifications. Importantly, the project built on principles and rules from the INSPIRE directive from 2007 and was a step on the way to demonstrate the feasibility of making geological data interoperable for Europe and beyond.
Simultaneously with these raw materials projects, a number of other European data harmonisation projects were carried out within other EGS research areas such as groundwater, energy, geohazards and soil. However, it became increasingly clear, along the way, that there was a need for coordination in order to increase the efficiency, reusability and sustainability. This was addressed in the EGS strategy that was published in 2014 and laid the foundation for the European Geological Data Infrastructure, in line with the second pillar of the EGS strategy.
The initiative addressed the fact that almost all previous common European geoscience projects had succeeded in producing good European datasets and commonly also web-based dissemination platforms, but that such systems would typically disappear after a certain period because of lack of financial support for basic operation and maintenance. With EGDI these data could potentially be ‘saved’ and made available through a common data infrastructure which should also be the natural dissemination platform for future projects.
On 14 June 2016, the first version of EGDI was launched at the premises of the EGS secretariat in Brussels. Besides directors and other EGS key persons, the audience comprised a number of distinguished EU commissioners representing different parts of the commission, including DG GROW (raw materials), DG MARE (maritime affairs), DG ENER (geoenergy), DG RTD (research) and DG JRC (joint research and INSPIRE). Even though it was not fully-fledged, EGDI V.1 contained most parts of the system that was identified under the EGDI-Scope project. A number of datasets from past European projects were included and made available through a common web portal (www.europe-geology.eu), which was to a large extent developed by GEUS (Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland ). However, the portal was only a small part of EGDI. The infrastructure itself consists of a complex of central databases, a metadata catalogue and distributed web services that all conform to the same standards. Roles and responsibilities were agreed internally in EGS, and work, since then, has been in progress to establish a more permanent governance structure. Currently, EDGI has been enriched with data from subsequent projects and its applications for visualizing and search and query web services make it possible to handle all this geoscientific data. Thanks to this information, the EGDI platform facilitate land management tasks, allowing the scientific and technological community to share data and all citizens to know the resources under their feet. Its ultimate goal is that anyone or institution can easily save and access the valuable information generated by the Geological Surveys and other institutions, now and in the future.
GeoERA (ERA-NET Co-Fund Action). Expanding the infraestructure
GeoERA is an European scientific cooperation programme for improving the management and (sustainable) use of subsurface resource. The programme has been running for the last three years, starting in July 2018.
The 45 national and regional Geological Survey Organizations that participate in GeoERA’s fifteen research projects provide large amounts of geoscientific information: maps, databases, documents and other related services to geoenergy, groundwater, and raw materials. Crossthematic integration of information has been an important aspect of GeoERA. Therefore, it was decided to establish a common ‘Information Platform’ for the efficient integration of all IT-related and technical issues (database and dissemination) from all GeoERA projects, the GeoERA Information Platform. The platform was intended to be capable of integrating up-to-date data, interpretations and models from different and distributed sources, both within and across the three main geoscientific themes of GeoERA. The platform is based on EGDI which contains some of the functionality foreseen to be required by the GeoERA projects. Nowadays, EGDI, moreover, has been extended in order to handle and disseminate for instance 3D/4D geological models.
The GeoERA Information Platform Project (GIP-P), one of the fifteen GeoERA projects, is responsible for this work. Its objective is the standardization, organization, dissemination and conservation of all the information generated by the rest of the GeoERA projects and earlier ones.
 Based on Tulstrup, Jørgen & Pedersen, Mikael. (2018). Towards a common geological data infrastructure for Europe. Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland Bulletin. 95-98. 10.34194/geusb.v41.4352.