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.
Stimulating reuse of government data is at the core of the open government data agenda. However, there is very limited information available about these reuser: what is their nature, what are their drivers, issues that they are confronted with, or more general: who is the reuser of open government data? In this research we explored the reusers of three Dutch government portals through an IP-address analysis and in-depth interviews. See also “Google kan nog veel leren bij ontsluiten open data” by AG Connect.
In E-GOS local, we compared the performance of different governance models for open geodata at the local levels. Is there a link between the utilised governance models for open data and the performance of open data with a focus on the City of Amsterdam. In the comparative study, the cities of The Hague, Eindhoven, Rotterdam and Utrecht were included as well. See the presentation AMS E-GOS Local governance and performance of open data policies at municipal level for an overview of the main results.
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.
Societal cost-benefit analysis of open data (2016 – 2017)
This research, commissioned by the Dutch Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Affairs, aimed to investigate the societal costs and benefits of open data. In the National Open Data Agenda (NODA) of the Netherlands, the ambition was formulated to make available government data as open data as much as possible. Priority should be given to so-called high value datasets, i.e. data that should be opened as soon as possible because of their high social-economic value and/or their contribution to a transparant and accountable government. The research explored the balance and trade-offs between the costs of making government data available as open data and the societal benefits of opening government data. The study consisted of two main parts: 1) a literature study of articles, reports and documents regarding costs and benefits of open data and 2) a societal cost/benefit analysis of five government data sets. The final report presenting the main results and findings of the study is available in Dutch.
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.
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 collected 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.) were further explored.
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).
Sustainable business models for open data (2015-2016)
Since 2009, Open Government Data initiatives have been launched worldwide and the concept of open data is gaining momentum. Open data are often associated with realising ambitions, such as a more transparent and efficient government, solving societal problems and increased economic value. However, between proposing an open data policy and successful implementation are some practicable obstacles, especially for government agencies required to generate sufficient revenue to cover their operating costs, so-called self-funding agencies. With lost revenue due to open data, there is a real risk that the update frequency and the quality of data may suffer or that the open data policy may even have to be reversed. In this project, the financial effects of open data policies for self-funding agencies on their business model were investigated. The project led to several hands-on proposals for self-funding agencies having to implement an open data policy whilst ensuring their long-term sustainability. A report presenting the main results and findings of the study is available in Dutch.
In this research project, an open data assessment framework was developed to assess open data supply, open data governance and open data user characteristics. This holistic open data framework allows to asses the maturity of the open data ecosystem and is a useful tool to indicate which aspects of the open data ecosystem are successful and which aspects require attention. An assessment was made of the Dutch open data ecosystem. The research was conducted as part of the Dutch ICT Breakthrough Project Open Geodata, initiated and coordinated by the Ministry of Economic Affairs in cooperation with the Ministry of Infrastructure & the Environment, the Ministry of the Interior & Kingdom Relations, GeoBusinessNetherlands, and several researchers. The article ‘How to assess the success of the open data ecosystem‘ by Frederika Welle Donker and Bastiaan van Loenen presents and discusses the results of the 2014 assessment. Two reports in Dutch are available presenting the results of both the 2014 assessment and the 2016 assessment.
ELF – European Location Framework (2013-2016)
The goal of this project was to deliver the European Location Framework (ELF) required to provide up-to-date, authoritative, interoperable, cross-border, reference geo-information for use by the European public and private sectors. The European Location Framework is a technical infrastructure which delivers authoritative, interoperable, cross-border geospatial reference data for analysing and understanding information connected to places and features. The Framework builds a geospatial reference data infrastructure and provides interoperable reference data and services from national information assets enabling users to build their work on it. Once developed and adopted they will be the basis for the official framework providing location information needed to geographically reference objects from other domains allowing panEuropean interoperability. The objective was to foster the wider use of geo-information and enable the creation of innovative value-added services. The project’s proactive stimulation of content markets involved the creation of sample applications using thematic communities to make user-led developments by SMEs.
In her PhD research, KCOD researcher Frederika Welle Donker investigated which barriers re-users of public sector information still face after the introduction of open data, and what can be done to alleviate these barriers to lift the maturity of open data to a higher level. With more public sector information becoming available as open data and with rapid technological developments, a trickle of web services and apps based on public sector information can be witnessed. However, the predicted free flow of information products and services based on public sector information has not eventuated yet. The main challenge for open data will be how to measure the actual impact of open government data. To do so, an open data assessment framework is required that evaluates open government data not only from a data supplier’s perspective, but also from a (re-)user’s perspective. The research of Welle Donker aimed to bridge the gap between current government data re-use practices and its full potential. In her PhD dissertation, user barriers are identified, theoretical concepts are developed and designed, and practical bridges are provided to enable re-use to the max. An open data assessment model to determine the effects of open data and assess the maturity of open data initiatives is developed and applied.
Geoportals play an important role in the accessibility of geographical data. However, the maturity of geoportals varies significantly across the globe. This Global Geoportal Map (GGPM) provides a worldwide overview of the maturity of national portals. The project, which was assigned by the Global Spatial Data Infrastructure Association (GSDI), gives insight in the status of national portals to geospatial data. The GGPM contains more than hundred geoportals in the world. Each portal is described and assessed using multiple indicators, such as the year of implementation, the number of data suppliers, the number of data sets, the number of visitors, the level of metadata accessibility, the metadata standard used, and several others.
Open data of the Dutch Chamber of Commerce (2016)
The Ministry of Economic Affairs engaged the Knowledge Centre Open Data to investigate the possibility of opening the Dutch commercial register as open data. The KCOD was asked to review and reflect on a report prepared by the Dutch Chamber of Commerce on making the Dutch commercial register available as open data. An inventory and analysis was made of all relevant conditions and assumptions made by the Chamber of Commerce regarding the opening of the commercial register. Also the different alternatives proposed by the Chamber of Commerce were critically evaluated. The KCOD also presented and analysed several international examples of the publication of commercial register data and formulated a set of recommendations and identified aspects that require further research. A report presenting the main findings and conclusion of the review is available in Dutch.
Dutch ‘dGPS’ signals under the Freedom of Information Act (2016)
This research, which was commissioned by GeoBusiness, aimed to answer two main research questions: 1) to what extent is NETPOS subject to the Dutch Freedom of Information Act? and 2) should NETPOS data be made available as open data? NETPOS is Netherlands Positioning Service, consisting of 38 GNSS reference stations throughout the Netherlands. The research investigated the relevance and applicability of several legal and policy frameworks: the open data policy of the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, the Dutch Freedom of Information Act, the Dutch Land Register Act and the Re-use of Public Information Act. In addition to the analysis of relevant legal frameworks, several interviews were executed to identify the different components of NETPOS, the current distribution of NETPOS and the ways NETPOS could be made available as open data.
The Global Legal Interoperability Map of the world (GLIM), a project assigned by the Global Spatial Data Infrastructure Association (GSDI), explores at a global level the currently existing variety of open data licences applied to geographical data. This first exploration provided new insights in the extent to which these licences are interoperable from a legal perspective and feeds discussions at policy levels to improve the legal interoperability of open geographical data. Around 30 different licenses for geographic data and services were identified and briefly described, focusing on the use conditions. For each license, it was indicated in which countries it is used. The licenses were categorised into three main groups: open licenses, share alike licenses and attribution licenses.
RIVM open (health) data (2015-2016)
In 2015 the Dutch Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport announced his plans to implement open data in the health domain. The Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) conducts research and provides policy advice on issues dealing with public health and environment. RIVM collects and collates knowledge, information but also data from various sources, both national and international. The data collected and use by RIVM not only concern health and welfare data, but also data on environment and public safety issues. To prepare the implementation of open data in the RIVM, the Knowledge Centre Open Data researched the legal requirements for RIVM health data as open data. In order to support the decision making process, an open data decision tree was developed. Also advice was provided for the development and implementation of the RIVM open data strategy. The open data decision tree and the strategies for publishing and opening data were presented and described in a report in Dutch.
Open data and beyond II: Monitoring the impact of open data Liander (2012-2013)
In recent years, there has been an increasing trend of releasing public sector information as open data. Governments worldwide see the potential benefits of opening up their data. The potential benefits are more transparency, increased governmental efficiency and effectiveness, and external benefits, including societal and economic benefits. The private sector also recognizes potential benefits of making their datasets available as open data. One such company is Liander, a Dutch utility company which operates in the distribution of electricity and natural gas in part of the Netherlands, makes several of its datasets available as open data. In this study, commissioned by Next Generation Infrastructures/ Alliander, an assessment framework was developed to monitor and assess the effects of open data. The framework addresses both internal and external effects, and was applied to assess the effects of open Liander data in 2014. The results and findings of the study are presented in a report in Dutch and in the article ‘Open data and Beyond‘ by Frederika Welle Donker, Bastiaan van Loenen en Arnold Bregt.
Open data and beyond: exploring existing open data projects to prepare a successful open data pilot for Alliander (2011-2012)
As part of the ‘Next Generation Infrastructures’ innovation programme, this project investigated the organisational, legal and technological requirements for the implementation of an open data policy by the different network operators of Alliander. In 2011, Alliander was considering the possibility to make its data available as open data. To prepare a successful open data pilot for Alliander, several aspects still had to be investigated and several questions had to be answered: what is open data, what are the main bottlenecks in implementing open data and what will be the impact of open data on Alliander. A research project was executed by the KCOD to answer each of these questions, and contribute to the preparation of the Alliander open data pilot. The results and findings of the project can be found in several reports (all in Dutch): an introductory report, a report on privacy, a report on liability and a report on instruments for monitoring the impact of open data.
Data Policy Rijkswaterstaat: Overview of legal frameworks on government data (2011-2012)
To support Rijkswaterstaat (RWS) in the development and implementation of an open data policy, the KCOD made an analysis of the general policy frameworks applicable to RWS data and data from the RWS Water Service in particular. An in-depth discussion and analysis of several relevant legal and policy frameworks was made, including the legal rights of RWS as data provider, the legal obligations of data providers, the European INSPIRE Directive, international frameworks in the domain of water, competition laws, liability legislation, the national data policy, and others. Two reports (both in Dutch) were published as part of this project: one report providing an overview of the relevant legal frameworks and one report providing flow schemes for data publishing.