INSPIRE Knowledge Base


Reference Frame Sub-Commission for Europe of the International Association of Geodesy
Mission and Objectives: 
The long-term objective of EUREF is the definition, realization and maintenance of the European Reference Systems, in close cooperation with the pertinent IAG (International Association of Geodesy) components (Services, Commissions, and Inter-Commission projects) as well as EuroGeographics, the organization of the European NMCA (National Mapping and Cadastre Agencies). EUREF must provide the best possible unique and homogeneous reference system and respective realization, to be used Europe-wide in all scientific and practical activities related to precise geo-referencing and navigation, Earth Sciences research and multidisciplinary applications. For that, EUREF will make use of the most accurate and reliable terrestrial and space-borne techniques available, and develop the necessary scientific background and methodology for the combination of heterogeneous measurements.
Formal Mandate: 
Sub-Commission of the International Association of Geodesy, a member of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG)
• Develop the EUREF Permanent Network (EPN) in close cooperation with IGS (International GPS Service), for the maintenance of the European Reference Frame, as a contribution to the ITRF (International Terrestrial reference Frame) and as infrastructure to support other relevant projects, namely the European initiatives related to GALILEO; • Improve the Unified European Levelling Network (UELN) by extending it to all European countries; • Implement the necessary projects for the long-term maintenance of the ETRS89 (European Terrestrial Reference System) and the EVRS2000 (European Vertical Reference System), as well as for the improvement of the coherence between both systems; • Contribute to the IAG Project GGOS (Global Geodetic Observing System) using the installed infrastructures managed by the EUREF members; • Promote the adoption of the reference systems defined by EUREF (ETRS89 and EVRS2000) in the European countries and European-wide organizations involved in geo-referencing activities; • Organize annual symposia addressing activities carried out at national and European-wide level related with the global work and objectives of EUREF; • Organize a Technical Working Group (TWG) for preparing and coordinating technical and scientific activities.
The members of the EUREF Sub-Commission are all the European countries contributing to its mission and objectives, taking into consideration that a full continental commitment is needed for the establishment and maintenance of the European Reference Systems. As a component of the IAG, EUREF follows also the IUGG membership rules. The countries have the right to nominate 2 official representatives in the EUREF Sub-Commission, preferably one from a research organization and the other from the institution responsible for the national geodetic reference frames, usually a NMCA.
EUREF is in activity since 1987, establishing and maintining the european reference frames for geo-referencing. Its activities are well-known and the resolutions are followed by the majority of european countries. Given its connections also with EuroGeographics and the governmental institutions responsible for the definition of the national geodetic reference systems and establishment of the corresponding frames, EUREF has a major role to play in Inspire.

Which role(s) do you foresee for the SDIC in INSPIRE development

  • submit reference material as input to the Drafting Teams
  • yes
  • allocate experts to Drafting Teams
  • yes
  • participate in the review process
  • yes
  • contribute to awareness raising and training
  • yes
    Geographic Domain
    EUREF has representatives from about 30 European countries
    Societal Sector
    research; scientific and technical support
    Specific Expertise
    Previous Experience relevant for INSPIRE development
    EUREF defined and implemented the reference systems (spatial system ETRS89 and height system EVRS) to be used in Europe for geo-referencing activities. These systems are being adopted by the national mapping institutions, by Eurocontrol, and have been recommended to the European Commission for use in the European projects involving geo-information. Members of EUREF participated in workshops organized by EC to define and recommend the reference systems (spatial and vertical) that guarantee the interoperability when using geo-information.
    Environmental application domains
    Risk zones
    Primary Business
    Surveying, Geodesy