Dr.ir. F.M. Welle Donker



Dr. Frederika Welle Donker is a researcher attached to the Knowlegde Centre for Geoinformation Governance. Her current research focuses on the economic, legal and institutional aspects of open data.



In the last few years, there is a trend noticeable towards making data available for reuse without imposing fees or restrictions. Following the lead by government organisations, a number of private companies are moving towards an open data policy. Previous research has indicated that an open data policy could lead to a considerable reduction in transaction costs, an increase in consumer satisfaction and an improvement of data quality. However, implementation of an open data policy will require a substantial investment by the data holder. In addition, data holders face uncertainties with respect to the consequences and effects of an open data policy. Our research focuses on formulating open data policy and monitoring the effects of open data policy implementation. Using indicators, the effects of changing to an open data policy will be measured and analysed, both quantitatively and qualitatively.

Next to the direct effects of open data, there are indirect effects. Public sector information is considered to be an important resource for (re)use by citizens and companies. Especially companies may reuse public sector information with a geographical component to create value added products and services, such as intelligent navigation systems. However, in spite of considerable resources invested by governments to release public sector information as open data and to facilitate accessibility, the expected surge of value added products based on public sector information has not quite eventuated to date and the expected benefits still appear to lag expectations. In 2016, Frederika completed her Ph.D. research on public sector information (PSI) accessibility. In her dissertation “From access to re-use: a user’s perspective on public sector information availability” she identified the real barriers to reuse of public sector information and developed tools to alleviate these barriers.


Projects as described in the Projects section. Some of the projects in the past years were:

  • Societal Cost Benefit Analysis Open Data (2016-17). Research commissioned by Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations into the societal costs and benefits of publishing high-value open datasets at different levels of quality. In addition to a literature review of international costs and benefits, a societal cost-benefit analysis will be carried out for five high-value datasets.

  • RIVM Open Data (2016). Commissioned by the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM). This research developed a decision tree for open data and open data strategies. The decision tree open data provides guidance on the legal considerations that have to be made to publish datasets as open data. RIVM generates a large amount of heterogeneous and cross-domain information related to public health, infectious diseases, the environment and data related to genetic sources. RIVM data are, therefore, subject to a comprehensive legal framework. In the main decision tree open data six sub-decision trees can be distinguished. 

  • Sustainable business models for self-funded open data providers. Commissioned by Kadaster and TNO. Open data are often associated with realizing 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-funded agencies. With lost revenue due to open data, there is a real risk that the quality of data may suffer or that an open data policy may even have to be reversed. We researched the financial effects of open data policies for self-funded agencies on their business model, and provided hands-on proposals for self-funding agencies having to implement an open data policy whilst ensuring their long-term sustainability. 

  • The State of the Open Data Nation (2013-16). Commissioned by ICT Breakthrough Project Open Geodata. We developed a framework to assess open data supply, open data governance, and open data user characteristics holistically. This holistic open data maturity framework proves to be a useful tool to indicate which aspects of the open data ecosystem are successful and which aspects require attention. The holistic framework was applied to a Top 20 Most Wanted datasets identified by companies in the Netherlands. Our initial assessment in 2014 indicated that traditional geodata perform significantly better than non-geodata, e.g. healthcare data. Therefore, open geodata policies may provide useful cues for other OGD strategies. The follow-up in 2016 showed that the supply side of open (geo)data had improved since 2014 and that steps were made to formally involve users in the governance of the open data ecosystem. However, to transform from a supply-driven open data ecosystem to a demand-driven open data ecosystem, more steps are needed, especially for non-geodata and sensor data. 

  • Ph.D. Research “From access to re-use: a user’s perspective on public sector information availability” (2009-2016). This dissertation provided an overview of the open data developments of the past and offers hands-on approaches to improve legal and financial interoperability and to improve data accessibility from a user’s perspective.


  • M.Sc. Geomatics guest lecturer Accessibility of Geo-data.

2017 - Geomatics in Practice
2019 - Geomatics in Practice
2018 - Geomatics in Practice
2020 - Geomatics in Practice