10 may 2023
Many applications made by Nazka Mapps make use of administrative boundaries. A few examples are the Global Wind Atlas, providing wind energy information for countries and regions, Bitagreen, which is all about climate-related data and risk-mitigation on municipality and sub-municipality level, and How green is my commune?, giving insight in land use per commune.
A screenshot from How green is my commune?, highlighting the municipality of Bertem.
Where does this data come from?
The national geographical institutes of Europe collaborate on the Open Maps for Europe project. This project offers much more than just administrative boundaries, but those boundaries are what we at Nazka Mapps are mostly interested in. Thanks to this project, we as a company are able to access open, reliable, pan-European administrative data.
The Maps for Europe dataset is created for 1:250 000 scale and provides information from country to municipality level. For Belgium, we wanted a more detailed dataset as we have many projects focusing on municipality or sub-municipality level. The FOD Financiën (AAPD) maintains a dataset for a 1:10 000 scale, which has more details for Belgium, like for example the statistical sectors.
Not so fast…
Unfortunately open does not equal easy. The data is available in different datasets and you need to know your way around geospatial data and data processing programs in order to make it useful. Luckily, that is what we’re experts at. We did a lot of post-processing on the data: merging datasets, filtering and dissolving features, joining and enriching attributes, simplifying geometry, and so on. And finally, we created a REST API on top of that data so that we can use it in many different projects, without having to duplicate the data and maintain many versions.
The Maps for Europe project delivers free and open data, and that is why we at Nazka Mapps decided that we want to share our work with you by making our Boundaries-API openly available.
You can now request the administrative boundaries for most European countries in GeoJSON format. The Boundaries-API is designed for map application builders who need correct boundary information in a performant & reliable way and that do not want to worry about data collection, harmonization, storage and updates.
Boundaries-API is free for normal use.