June 2019

Knowledge Centre Open Data participates in H2020 Twinning program TODO

Together with the University of Zagreb (Croatia) and the University of the Aegean (Greece), the Knowledge Centre Open Data has been awarded the Twinning Open Data Operational (TODO) project as part of the EU Horizon2020 Twinning program.

TODO will develop an interdisciplinary multi-domain open data ecosystem research methodology. The activities within the program will focus on among other things, training, knowledge exchange and cooperation between the three partners to promote sustainable open data ecosystems in the long term. With the support of key organizations in the Croatian open data ecosystem and national and international experts, TODO will improve research capacity and research quality in open data research by the University of Zagreb (UNIZG) and improve the open data ecosystem in Croatia. In addition, the TODO consortium will use the new research approach to create new insights into and give direction to the development of open data ecosystems worldwide.

More information via

October 2018

New Springer book by Knowledge Centre Open Data

October 25, 2018

On the initiative of the Open Data Knowledge Centre, Springer published the book 'Open Data Exposed'. The editor of the book summon the chief issues on gathering, editing, managing and using open (geo) data, among them user-oriented strategies, open data financing, open data licenses, data protection and privacy and technological aspects of open data. Examples of open data have been collected in, among others, Great Britain, the Netherlands, China and Indonesia. The current concept of open data is the result of various initiators, mainly private companies and governments. Worldwide, attempts have been made for some time to anchor the concept of open data in national and international policy agendas. The book highlights some of these developments in Europe, Asia and the United States. In addition to new insights and practical advice on open data, the authors map out the transformation to open data, and also pay attention to the danger that only a few parties will control most of the data. The book is a valuable asset for those using and promoting open data.
The book is online available at:

Best paper award for Agung Indrajit at GeoDelft 2018 conference

October 9, 2018

This October PhD Agung Indrajit obtained the Best Paper Award at the GeoDelft 2018 conference. His paper ‘Designing Open Spatial Information Infrastructure to Support 3D Urban Planning in Jakarta Smart City’ discusses the role of land administration in urban planning and Spatial Information Infrastructure (SII). The article proposes to have spatial planning information as an extension to the Land Administration Domain Model (LADM) in order to support spatial planning. This will provide a complete scene for land tenure, land valuation, land use, and land development to support sustainable development initiatives. Further, the spatial planning extension will contribute to support the UN member countries in obtaining indicators in the Sustainable Development Goals by improving interoperability and by integrating right, restrictions, and responsibilities from spatial planning and land administration which are often resulted from separate processes by different parties.

September 2018

New article: SDI stakeholder analysis in the Netherlands

September 20, 2018

The new article ‘Stakeholder analysis of the governance framework of a national SDI dataset – whose needs are met in the buildings and address register of the Netherlands?’ of which Bastiaan van Loenen (KCOpen Data) is one of the authors, presents a stakeholder analysis of the Basisregistratie Adressen en Gebouwen (BAG), a collection of base information about addresses and buildings in the Netherlands. The information is captured and maintained by municipalities and integrated into a national base register by Kadaster, the Land Registry and Mapping Agency of the Netherlands. The stakeholder analysis identifies organisations involved in the BAG governance framework, describes their interests, rights, ownerships and responsibilities in the BAG, and maps the relationships between them. Analysis results indicate that Kadaster and the municipalities have the highest relative importance in the governance framework of the BAG. The study reveals challenges in setting up a governance framework that should maintain the delicate balance between the interests of all stakeholders. The results provide guidance for SDI role players setting up governance frameworks for national or global datasets.
See for the full article:

December 2017

Governance of Open SDI’s in Europe

December 13, 2017

A book chapter on the ‘Governance of open spatial data infrastructures in Europe‘ by Glenn Vancauwenberghe en Bastiaan van Loenen (both KC Open Data) was published in the book ‘The Social Dynamics of Open Data’. The chapter provides an analysis of how several European member states have been dealing with the governance of their open spatial data infrastructures since the adoption of the INSPIRE Directive in 2007. In recent years several countries and public administrations started a shift towards the establishment of a more ‘open’ spatial data infrastructure, in which also businesses, citizens and non-governmental actors are considered as key stakeholders and beneficiaries of this infrastructure. This move towards more open spatial data infrastructures also created additional challenges related to the governance of the spatial data infrastructure (SDI), as new and additional governance approaches and instruments had to be implemented. In order to engage different stakeholder groups, including data users and producers outside the public sector, and take into account their needs and requirements, the scope of traditional governance structures, mechanisms and processes had to be expanded.

EuroSDR adapting Mapping Agencies’ Business Models to Open Data

December 8, 2017

To switch to an open data policy may pose a challenge to the business model of National Mapping & Cadastral Agencies (NMCAs), especially if they are required to generate sufficient revenue to cover a substantial part of their operating costs. This research, carried out for EuroSDR, aims to assess the effects of open data policies on the business models of NMCAs and which adaptations have been made to cope with revenue losses due to open data supply. In March and April 2017, we surveyed European NMCAs to find out which strategies NMCAs employ to be able to (re)finance operational costs and to ensure long-term sustainability of (open) data. This report provides the initial outcomes of the survey.

About a third of the National Mapping & Cadastral Agencies (NMCAs) started to supply open data before 2010, indicating that the INSPIRE Directive has had a distinct influence on a move towards open data. Nearly all NMCAs receive some funding from the central government to cover their operational costs. About half of the NMCAs receive some extra compensation for open data activities. Open data activities are further financed from other forms of revenue, such as the sale of other data products, or by internal efficiencies. Although many of the NMCAs expressed a desire to receive (more) compensation from the central government, it appears that the NMCAs manage to fund their open data activities to date. For a successful open data ecosystem, the key factors appear to be guaranteed funding (to offset the losses in revenue), cooperation between data suppliers and between data supplies and users, and business cases to demonstrate the added value of open data. The latter is necessary to receive additional funding / compensation from the central government in the long(er) term. Since the implementation of open data policies, the role of NMCAs in the information value chain is changing. NMCAs are moving their role as ‘traditional’ data supplier towards data partners /enablers. Although implementation of open data has led to more costs in the short term (more investments in infrastructure and (human) resources), it appears that open data leads to benefits for the organisation in the long run, such as efficiency gains.

GEOValue: The socioeconomic value of geospatial information

December 1, 2017

Researchers of the Knowledge Centre have contributed to a new book which explores explores the different steps in the geospatial information value chain from the viewpoint of domain experts spanning various disciplines. In their chapter on business models for geographic information (GI), Glenn Vancauwenberghe, Frederika Welle Donker, and Bastiaan van Loenen examine the process of creating value from geographic information using the foundational format of business model theory. They investigate how organizations use a broad variety of models to create, deliver, and capture value, and contribute to the understanding of the diversity of business models of organizations dealing with GI.

Glenn Vancauwenberghe also co-authored a book chapter titled ‘Performance Measurement of Location Enabled e-Government Processes: A Case Study on Traffic Safety Monitoring’. This chapter presents a case study of traffic safety monitoring as an application of location-enabled e-government processes is described. A qualitative method was developed and applied to estimate the impact of location enablement of e-government processes on system performance. Results show that the performance in terms of time, costs, and quality are negatively influenced by lack of upstream data harmonization and difficulties in the handling of the sharing agreements.

'GEOValue: The Socioeconomic Value of Geospatial Information edited by Jamie B. Kruse, Joep Crompvoets and Francoise Pearlman and published by CRC Press.

September 2017

The emergence of Open SDIs in Europe

September 26, 2017

Glenn Vancauwenberghe and Bastiaan van Loenen have co-authored a chapter on the Emergence of Open Spatial Data Infrastructures in the book ‘User Centric E-Government: Challenges and Opportunities‘, edited by Saqib Saeed, T. Ramayah and Zaigham Mahmood. The book provides user studies and theories related to user-centered technology design processes for e-government projects. The book mainly discusses inherent issues of technology design implications, user experiences, and guidelines for technology appropriation. Ethnographic studies focusing on real life examples enable readers to understand the problems in an effective way. Furthermore, the theories and results presented in the book should help researchers and practitioners to handle these challenges in an efficient way.

In their book chapter entitled ‘Exploring the Emergence of Open Spatial Data Infrastructures: Analysis of Recent Developments and Trends in Europe’ Vancauwenberghe and van Loenen provide an analysis of the measures and solutions implemented in four European countries to make their national spatial data infrastructures open to businesses, citizens and other stakeholders. The analysis shows that the move towards more open spatial data infrastructures can mainly be seen in the increased availability of geographic data and spatially enabled services to citizens, businesses and other parties.
User Centric E-Government: Challenges and Opportunities', Saqib Saeed, T. Ramayah en Zaigham Mahmood (eds.).

July 2016

Introducing Glenn Vancauwenberghe

In July Glenn Vancauwenberghe joined the Knowledge Centre Open Data. Vancauwenberghe and the Knowledge Centre have been awarded the European Union Marie Curie Fellowship of € 165,000 regarding a two-year study into the impact of various governance models for the provision of open geo-data in Europe. The free availability of government-collected geographical data to businesses and individuals is part of the Digital Agenda of the EU and is being implemented by the INSPIRE directive (Infrastructure for Spatial Information in the European Community). However, there is still little understanding of the impact of open data initiatives, limiting further implementation of open data policies.

In the Netherlands and Britain, where open data are already available to a large extent, but based on a variety of approaches, Vancauwenberghe plans to perform several case studies, working closely with the Dutch Ministry of the Interior and the British Open Data Institute (OID) in London. The results should help to increase the social benefits of open data policy of governments in other countries.

Vancauwenberghe is well known to the open data research sector: he has several scientific publications on open data and open data policy to his name. In 2013 he obtained his PhD on the topic 'Coordination within the geographical data infrastructure'.

A future for electronic handling of real estate transactions

Recently, the section Geo-information and Land Policy (Faculty of Architecture, TU Delft) and the University of Leiden joined hands in research into the state of digitalisation of land registers and public records in EU countries. The Centre for Safety and Security of the Strategic Alliance Leiden-Delft-Erasmus, a three university cooperation, has been awarded a grant for this project in 2015.
Digitalisation of land register systems and public records makes a full electronic handling of real estate transactions possible. This 'e-conveyancing' offers promising prospects for the facilitation of a cross-border property market. Besides advantages like cost savings and accelerating the legal transactions of registered property, there are also risks involved such as fraud, which should be minimised.
Currently, the status of e-conveyancing within the EU is being inventoried as well as the issues of cyber security. The second phase will have an in depth character, thus forming a basis for further working out a doctoral research.

Sector should take up open data legal protection

The Computers, Privacy and Data Protection (CPDP) conference in Brussels in January 2016, led by Damian Clifford (KU Leuven), hosted a well-attended panel session 'Data protection and open data in the smart city environment' place. PhD Lorenzo dalla Corte (Knowledge Open Data), expert in this field, was the initiator of this panel. Also three other panelists (Rosana Lemut Strle, Fidel Santiago and Paolo Balboni) gave a presentation. The CPDP conference is the largest in the field of data security.
In their presentations, the panelists pointed out the dangers of large-scale smart technologies, that system designs must be sufficiently able to withstand them, and that the sector must actively enforce a sound legal framework. The panelists emphasised in their presentations that there is still no unambiguous solution for keeping in balance the interests of free provision of data on the one hand and the right to privacy and protection of personal data on the other. The discussion resulted in the call to abandon releasing data without but to switch to a system that reduces unwanted identification and data abuse.

Privacy rules threaten use of open data

The European Union's open data policy is aimed at encouraging the reuse of government data by companies, organisations and individuals for commercial products and services. Combinations of data with a spatial component may however inadvertently expose personal information. That privacy is not brought into question, is laid down in the EU Data Protection Directive. The latter, however, is often the case with spatial data, resulting in a more serious restriction of open data than previously thought. It can even lead to non-availability of data.
According to the authors two options are conceivable: fewer strict regulations regarding the use of data and shifting the ​​privacy protection responsibility to the data user. Perhaps a middle ground between these two options can be found. Anyway, the concept of "personal data" needs an adjustment, even within the field of spatial data.
(Bastiaan van Loenen, Stefan Kulk & Hendrik Ploeger, Data protection legislation: A very hungry caterpillar: The case of mapping data in the European Union, in Government Information Quarterly, online since April 30th.)

Benefits of open company data



More and more governments make their research data freely available as open data on the Internet. This should result in greater transparency of governance and in social and economic benefits for society through reuse for new purposes. Besides governments also some companies offer their data for free, often with the aim of lowering business costs and generate feedback from customers.
This data release was initially thought to result in more downloads, more website visits, more communication between provider and data users and in more inter-user communication.
Energy provider Liander’s data release resulted in lower transaction costs for both customers and the company itself. Also, it seems that the open data is used by customers to monitor their own energy consumption. The first open dataset triggered the demand for aggregated energy consumption data and data on energy production from wind turbines and photovoltaic panels. More communication with and between customers has, however, not resulted in new user groups and help desk calls did not reduce.
(Frederika Welle Donker, Bastiaan van Loenen & Arnold Bregt, Open Data and Beyond, International Journal of Geographical Information 5 (4), 2016.)