Workshop Sustainable Open Data Business Models for NMCAs

28 June 2017

The concept of open data is gaining momentum as open data are often associated with realizing many government ambitions, such as increased economic value and solving societal problems. However, to implement an open data policy and maintain high quality data in a sustainable manner may pose a challenge to the traditional business models of National Mapping & Cadastral Agencies (NMCAs). Especially self-funding NMCAs have to find a balance between generating sufficient revenue to cover a substantial part of their operating costs and at the same time comply to open data principles. The traditional business models of NMCAs are based on generating revenue from licence fees for their datasets, which contain authoritative and authentic data used as register data. A shift from supplying licenced data to open data not only means a loss of revenue in the short term but also a loss of control over the reuse of the data and customer contact. A decrease in revenue may pose a risk to data quality or to the level of services.

On the other hand, open data may also offer direct benefits to NMCAs, for example, more feedback on data quality by citizens and companies, or more efficient use of resources. However, it is by no means a certainty that the much-lauded indirect benefits of open data will outweigh the direct costs the NMCAs incur to supply open data according to the open data principles. To be able to adapt their business model, will require NMCAs to think out of the box. EuroSDR, in cooperation with Eurogeographics, commenced a research to assess the effects of open data policies on the business model of NMCAs. This includes the way NMCAs are able to (re)finance their operational costs and to ensure long-term sustainability of their (open) data.

This workshop will bring together the NMCAs to present and share their experiences of open data and discuss the research results with representatives of academia. Issues that will discussed will be:

  • What were the outcomes of the online survey of April 2017?
  • Which funding models can be utilised by NMCAs and how sustainable are these?
  • What have the effects of open data been on the operational costs of the NMCA?
  • Which options do NMCAs have to their disposal to refinance their operational costs?
  • Is the supply of open data living up to expectations?
  • What are the non-financial challenges to implementing open data?
  • Is there a future for a pan-European open data infrastructure?


When: 18 - 19 September 2017

Where: Berlage Rooms, Faculty of Architecture & the Built Environment, Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands



Detailed information can be found here.