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Accurate mapping and land registry can support economic growth - Wilson

Finance Minister Sammy Wilson today outlined the importance of developing geographic information to improve the lives of citizens in Northern Ireland.
Sunday, 16 October 2011

Finance Minister Sammy Wilson and John Wilkinson, chief Executive of the Land and Property Service welcomed President Doreen Burmanje at Parliament Buildings, Stormont ahead of the Eurographics General Assembly.  Picture by Brian Morrison.

Speaking as he officially opened the three day EuroGeographics General Assembly, the Minister said that precise data will help inform decisions on the location of public services, the targeting of grant and subsidy payments and the Executive’s response to security and environmental issues.

Addressing the Heads of European mapping and land registry organisations, Minister Wilson said: “As the Finance Minister for Northern Ireland, I fully recognise the need for politicians, such as myself, to make our decisions in a cost effective and efficient manner.

“Accurate and current geographic data is critical to these decisions and the analysis of geographic data plays an increasing role in decision making at all levels in government and the private sector.”

The EuroGeographics General Assembly, which is being held for the first time in Northern Ireland, brings together 56 members from 44 countries across Europe. It works closely with the European Commission and Parliament to support and deliver their policy and service initiatives.

The Minister continued: “Together, the members of EuroGeographics invest around 1.5billion euros each year in the development of data. It is therefore vitally important that this information is effectively used to stimulate and support economic growth both within our own countries and across the whole of Europe.”

Organised and hosted by Land & Property Services, the event will take place from the 16-19 October in the Hilton Hotel, Belfast. The theme of the General Assembly is Quality Information for the Digital Agenda.

Notes to editors:

  1. EuroGeographics is a not-for-profit organisation formed in 2001 as the membership association and representative body of the European national mapping, land registry and cadastral agencies. EuroGeographics brings together 56 members from 44 countries across Europe.
  2. Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland and the Land Registers of Northern Ireland were both members of EuroGeographics prior to the formation of Land & Property Services (LPS). Northern Ireland representation continues through LPS.
  3. As a European association Eurogeographics works closely with the European Commission and Parliament to support and deliver their policy and service initiatives.
  4. The Department of Finance and Personnel, through Land & Property Services (LPS), has coordinated the development of the Geographic Information (GI) Strategy for Northern Ireland 2009-2019. The Strategy builds on the strengths of earlier Northern Ireland GI strategies and developments in Spatial Data Infrastructures (SDIs) throughout the UK, Europe and the rest of the world.
  5. Media enquiries should be addressed to the Department of Finance and Personnel Communications Office on Tel: 028 9016 3388 or 028 9016 3389. Out of Office hours please contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned.
  6. Photos from the event will be available on