The importance of open environment data on the European Data Portal
Insights into one of the high value data domains
Not all Open Data has the same potential for reuse. The European Data Portal provides thirteen data categories of which certain data categories are more frequently reused than others. On a European level, the European Commission has identified five thematic data domains that are expected to represent those with the highest demand from reusers across the EU: geospatial data, earth observation data and environment, transport data, statistics and company data.
This article will delve into the second thematic data domain: environment data.
Consequences of global warming
The European Data Portal offers 90,883 datasets on open environment data. The data range from a survey concerning the water quality of rivers in Wales, to measuring data from the air quality in Switzerland or the quality monitoring groundwater and surface water in Portugal.
Most datasets in this domain focus on pollution and the improvement of environmental conditions. For example, the data about mountain ecosystems in a changing environment in Austria provides information about biodiversity, climatic change and CO2. This kind of data is significant because alpine ecosystems are facing tremendous environmental changes due to climatic warming. More specifically, global warming in the Alps is causing a massive decline in glaciers and an increase in snow-free seasons of below 2000m. Consequently, heavy rainfall and thunderstorms occur more frequently in the Alps, leading to an increase in mudflows and mudslides. Therefore, data that helps to understand and possibly improve the environmental conditions are of increasing importance for reuse.
Tangible Open Data use cases
The availability of numerous Open Data use cases makes this domain very 'tangible' and shows the rising demand. The European Data Portal use case section contains 29 examples relating to environmental data. One use case is the Kanarek application from Poland providing transparency on current air quality and smog. Another use case is the platform skyglyph from Bulgaria, which simplifies the management of flight control, asset mapping, site monitoring, data transfer and the scouting process. The advantages of this designed solution are based on closing the gap between drone technologies and user requirements.
To get more information and browse the datasets, take a look at environment data on the European Data Portal.