Everything happens somewhere: Archives and Geographic information


‘Everything happens somewhere: Archives and Geographic information’

Post Annual Conference of the International Council of Archivists (ICA) Workshop – 25 November 2013 – State Archives, Brussel

170PX-~1Although sometimes worlds apart, cooperation of the archival and the geographic authorities has become essential with the fast electronic revolution. That is to say:

(1)    Digital Geographic information needs be to be archived and remain accessible for the long term, although no sound methods exist yet and data now and in the past is being lost;

(2)    Geographic information and technologies could play a pivotal role in the accessibility of archival information;

Although several initiatives have been taken recently, both burning questions remain largely unanswered today. Hence, both communities need to join forces, and a great opportunity laid here in Brussels with the presence of archivists from all over the world, and the European headquarters of national geo-authorities and spatial research, at the very same location!

The aim of the workshop was to crossbreed the skills and knowledge of the archival and geographic authorities to tackle the issues mentioned above.

The first part of the day consisted of a more theoretical introduction:

  • a broad outline of the challenges we face
  • an introduction to the playing field and institutions involved
  • the importance of (digital) geographic information (technologies) for the data we handle every day

The second part of the day consisted of a few case studies and break-out sessions to connect the different worlds of archival and geographic institutions.

A early pick from the list of speakers:

Ingrid Vanden Berghe, President EuroGeographics, Director-General National Geographic Institute: Connecting Archival and National Geographic Information Authorities

Saskia Stuiveling [tbc], President Dutch Court of Audits: The importance of geo-info for the work of the national auditors and archivists

Jonathan Holmes, Ordinance Survey GB, Data Quality Manager: GI+100: Long term archiving of digital Geographic Information – 16 fundamental principles agreed by National Mapping Agencies and State Archives

André Streilein Swisstopo, Head Of Topography and Swiss delegate to EuroSDR: Archiving of Geographic Information: putting theory into practice

Philippe De Maeyer, Chair Geography Dept. Ghent University: Preservation of the geographic production process

Rink W. Kruk and Marc Carnier, Project leader (Cartesius/NGI), and State Archivist: Cartesius: The Power of Geographic Information for Cartographic Heritage and the Struggle with Archival Standards

Specifications: 1 day, no fee, in English, at the State Archives of Belgium in the centre of Brussels.



Karel Velle, President EURBICA, National Archivist State Archives Belgium


Under the aegis of

Ingrid Vanden Berghe, President EuroGeographics, Director-General National Geographic Institute

Joep Crompvoets, Secretary-General Euro Spatial Data Research (EuroSDR)

Karel Velle, President EURBICA, National Archivist State Archives Belgium


Magasins_d'archivesOrganization committee

Karin Van Honacker (State Archives Belgium)

Marc Carnier (State Archives Belgium)

Rink W. Kruk (National Geographic Institute, Cartesius)


More information:

Everything happens somewhere

Most information is somehow related to place. In other words, place is a common denominator for all kinds of information and could therefore play a pivotal role in the accessibility of archival information. With the help of modern technologies data can be quickly geographically visualized, and discovered through the use of innovative geographic services.

Archiving digital geographic information

Although the change from paper products to digital geographic information happened already years ago, archiving methods of digital geographic information is still in its infancy. Archival Institutions (from their obligation to archive governmental information) and National Geo-authorities (as producers and supplier of geographic information) both have their part in finding a common way to solve this issue.


Visit the ICA website


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