Open Spatial Data Infrastructure (Open SDI)

In the search for the ideal spatial data infrastructure a common ground has been established for the development of open spatial data infrastructures. Starting from confidential, highly restricted data with use limited to particular public sector users, SDIs across Europe have developed towards a wider focus, civil society oriented infrastructure enabling a multitude of users to access, share, use and re-use datasets and services from a wide variety of domains both nationally and internationally. Especially in recent years, several countries and public administrations started to make a shift towards the establishment of an open spatial data infrastructures (SDIs), in which also businesses, citizens and non-governmental actors were considered as key stake-holders of the infrastructure.

In this project we assess the openness of Spatial Data Infrastructures. Part of this project is the creation of the ‘Map of Open SDI in Europe’ which is developed to provide SDI decision makers, practitioners and researchers with a more comprehensive understanding of the openness of spatial data infrastructures in Europe. The Map covers three key dimensions of Open SDIs: readiness, implementation and impact. The map provides an overview of the status of Open SDIs in different European countries. The project builds on the work of students of the MSc. Geomatics for the Built Environment. More information about the project can be found in the publication: Vancauwenberghe, G., K. Valeckaite, B. van Loenen & F. Welle Donker (2018). Assessing the Openness of Spatial Data Infrastructures (SDI): Towards a Map of Open SDI. International Journal of Spatial Data Infrastructure Research, 13, 88-100.

See also the documentation of the 2017 Workshop Map of Open SDI/INSPIRE.


Safeguarding data protection in an open data world (SPOW) (2015-2019)

The European Union’s policy on open data aims at generating value through the re-use of public sector information, such as geographical data. Open data policies should be applied in full compliance with the principles relating to the protection of personal data as safeguarded in the European data protection legal framework. Increased computer power, advancing data mining techniques and the proliferation of publicly available big data extend the scope of the European data protection legal framework to much more (geographic) data than currently assumed and acted upon and could in effect obstruct the implementation of open data policies in the EU. Given the importance of open (geographical) data for smart city concepts, the imbalance between open data and data protection regulations may block the further development and implementation of smart cities. This research will apply the requirements for effective co-design of data protection and open data regulations to the smart city domains of transport, energy and eHealth with a view to boosting innovation and  strengthening the economy.

Effective governance of Open Spatial Data (E-GOS) (2016-2018)

The research project ‘Effective Governance of Open Spatial Data’ (E-GOS) investigates the impact of different models for governing open spatial data on the performance of open spatial data policies in Europe. A case study approach is implemented, analyzing two countries that are among the leading open data countries in the world: the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. The expected new insights in the performance of the governance models will allow public administrations to optimize their governance model of open spatial data to further the economic and societal impact of open data policies. The project is executed in close collaboration with the Dutch Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, the public authority responsible for the implementation of the open government agenda in theNetherlands, and the Open Data Institute in the United Kingdom,  one of the pioneering bodies in Europe in the field of open data. The project is supported by a Marie Skłodowska-Curie post-doctoral fellowship, and will be executed by dr. Glenn Vancauwenberghe.

The STIG: Stress Testing the Infrastructure for Geographic information (2011-2019)

Spatial data infrastructures (SDI) facilitate the collection, maintenance, dissemination and use of spatial information. To stimulate SDI development effectively and efficiently, it is key to assess the progress and benefits of the SDI. SDIs are difficult to assess because of their complex, dynamic, multi-faceted and constantly evolving nature. Several SDI assessment methods exist. However, these assessment methods are still in an infancy stage and none of these assessment methods appears to meet the requirements of practitioners. As a result, SDI decision makers are still without any guidance on the success of their SDI. In this research, we propose a new method for SDI assessment: The STIG, a Stress test for Infrastructures of Geographical information. The development and application of the Stress-test methodology will provide new valuable information for decision-makers about the aspects of SDIs that need to be improved in order to exploit the full potential benefit of the SDIs, especially in the instance of disaster management.

4D Open Spatial Information Infrastructure for Participatory Urban Planning Monitoring  (2016-2019)

In this PhD research project, Agung Indrajit aims to answer the following research question:  “How to design and implement participatory 4D information system for urban planning monitoring built on open (governance and technical) Spatial Information Infrastructures in order to enable participatory urban planning monitoring?”. Urban planning monitoring and its verification will be crucial in any smart/future cities. By allowing citizen to contribute spatial information to government to support the evaluation, reporting and verification of the implementation of urban planning, local government will comply with open government principles.By sharing and using the same reference, Open Spatial Information Infrasturcture can perform optimally as a foundation for participatory urban planning monitoring. The PhD project will investigate how open government data principles could be integrated into SII initiatives to contribute to urban planning monitoring with agreeable quality for decision making. The research will develop an open spatial data governance model, master open spatial data management model, and prototype of Participatory Urban Planning Monitoring (PUPM). This research will perform case study research in typical smart cities such as Rotterdam (Netherlands), and Jakarta and Bandung (Indonesia).

Effective governance of Open Spatial Data at Local level (E-GOS Local) (2016-2018)

The E-GOS Local project, which is co-funded by AMS, the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions, is as an extension to the original E-GOS project. While the E-GOS project focuses on the governance and performance of open spatial data policies at the national (or macro) level, E-GOS Local will investigate the governance and performance of open spatial data policies at organizational (or micro) level, as well as the link between the national and organizational policies (or between macro and micro). The E-GOS Local project will be conducted in close collaboration with the City of Amsterdam. Many of the most valuable spatial data sets are produced, managed and maintained at the local level. In recent years, several municipalities have implemented their own open data agenda, often prior to the development and implementation of a national open data agenda. The challenge of governing open spatial data at municipal level is twofold: municipalities not only have to decide on how to govern their own relationships with other stakeholders in the open data domain, but also need to think about their involvement in, contribution to, and adoption of national open data initiatives. In E-GOS Local, a comparative case study design will be implemented to investigate the governance and performance of open spatial data policies at municipal level.

E-conveyancing & cyber security (blockchain) (2017)

More and more European citizens and companies and their financers are involved in cross-border transactions of real estate within the Union. This development towards an European land & mortgage market is supported by the automation and digitization of national systems of land administration. This development provides not only easy access to information between the EU member states, but also supports the full digital exchanges between parties of messages and documents relating to land transactions and the automated processing of records, the so-called “e-conveyancing. Our project researches the legal risks associated with e-conveyancing and their potential impact on cross-border real estate transactions. This project is funded by the Leiden Delft and Erasmus University Centre for safety and Security and executed by Joy Cooman ( TU Delft), Hendrik Ploeger (TU Delft), Pim Huijgen (Universiteit Leiden), and Peter van Es (Universiteit Leiden).

Exploring the sustainability of open data business models of National Mapping and Cadastre Agencies in Europe (2017)

Since 2009, Open Government Data initiatives have been launched worldwide and the concept of open data is gaining momentum.  The switch to an open data policy poses challenges to the business model of National Mapping Agencies, especially if they are required to generate sufficient revenue to cover a substantial part of their operating costs. The shift from licensed data supply to open data supply often means a loss of revenue in the short term. The lost revenue due to open data may pose a risk to data update frequencies and data quality. However, open data may also offer benefits to the National Mapping Agencies, such as increased data quality or efficiency gains. EuroSDR, in cooperation with EuroGeographics, commenced this research to assess the effects of open data policies on the business model of National Mapping Agencies. This includes effects on the way the organisations are able to (re)finance their operational costs and to ensure long-term sustainability of their (open) data. In addition, we would like to assess the future of open data within your organisation and within your country.

Location data processing by social and commercial platforms (2017)

In recent years, social and commercial platforms have become important collectors and users of location data, i.e. any data processed that allow for the determination of the location of the terminal device of a user. This research project, assigned by Geonovum and executed by Bastiaan van Loenen and Deniz Kilic, aims to explore the location data value chain, starting with the collection of the location data and ending with the use of these data by third parties. While in some cases these location data are provided actively by citizens, the data can also be collected through position technology, such as GPS, Wifi networks, sensors, RFID, etc. While most of the data collectors make use of the data themselves, also other data brokers and data (re)users rely on the data collected by social and media platforms. The project investigates how and which location data are processed by social and commercial media as well as how and for which purposes these data are used by other companies. The project will collect key facts on the collection and use of location data by social and commercial platforms and provide qualitative information on the type of users and on existing practices and policies. Also relevant developments (technological, legal, institutional, etc.) will be further explored.

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