Business Modelling for Open Data of NMCA data

"Business Modelling for Open Data of NMCA data", Bastiaan Van Loenen, Frederika Welle Donker and Joep Crompvoets

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 realizing ambitions, such as a more transparent and efficient government, solving societal problems and increased economic value. There has been ample literature describing the (potential) benefits of open data. However, to switch to an open data policy may pose a challenge 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. National Mapping Agencies may be able to generate revenue by levying specific taxes or compulsory registration fees, e.g. for cadastral transactions. In addition, many National Mapping Agencies receive revenue from licence fees for their fee-based datasets, and/or provide additional services, such as providing tools or hosting a data platform. A shift from licenced 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 organisation, for example, data quality may increase because citizens and companies can provide direct feedback. There may be efficiency gains due to the fact that data-providers no longer require to maintain a sales office. In addition, other public bodies no longer have to pay to use public sector datasets. However, it is by no means a certainty that the benefits of open data outweigh the costs. Moreover, to supply open data is one thing, to ensure sustainable open data from financial (sufficient funds in the future), technical aspect (availability in the long term) and organisational (sufficient human resources) aspects is quite another thing.

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.

Related publications

Official Publication No. 67 (2017)
Adapting NMCA Business Models to Open Data