The Cost(s) of Open Geospatial Data

Johnson PA, Sieber RE, Scassa T, Stephens M, Robinson PJ. The Cost(s) of Geospatial Open Data. Transactions in GIS. 2017;21:434–445. DOI: 10.1111/tgis.12283

12 Pages Posted: 24 Jul 2017

See all articles by Peter Johnson

Peter Johnson

University of Waterloo - Department of Geography and Environmental Management

Renee Sieber

McGill University

Teresa Scassa

University of Ottawa - Common Law Section

Monica Stephens

Department of Geography

Pamela Robinson

Ryerson University

Date Written: March 1, 2017

Abstract

The provision of open data by governments at all levels has rapidly increased over recent years. Given that one of the dominant motivations for the provision of open data is to generate ‘value’, both economic and civic, there are valid concerns over the costs incurred in this pursuit. Typically, costs of open data are framed as costs that are internal to the data providing government. Building on the strong history of GIScience research on data provision via spatial data infrastructures, this paper considers both the direct and indirect costs of open data provision, framing four main areas of indirect costs; citizen participation challenges, uneven provision across geography and user types, subsidy of private sector activities, and the creation of inroads for corporate influence on government. These areas of indirect cost lead to the development of critical questions, including constituency, purpose, enablement, protection, and priorities. These questions are proposed as a guide to governments that provide open data in addressing the indirect costs of open data.

Keywords: open data, open government, spatial data infrastructures, technology adoption, technology impacts

Suggested Citation

Johnson, Peter and Sieber, Renee and Scassa, Teresa and Stephens, Monica and Robinson, Pamela, The Cost(s) of Open Geospatial Data (March 1, 2017). Johnson PA, Sieber RE, Scassa T, Stephens M, Robinson PJ. The Cost(s) of Geospatial Open Data. Transactions in GIS. 2017;21:434–445. DOI: 10.1111/tgis.12283, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3005522

Peter Johnson (Contact Author)

University of Waterloo - Department of Geography and Environmental Management ( email )

Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1
Canada

Renee Sieber

McGill University ( email )

1001 Sherbrooke St. W
Montreal, Quebec H3A 1G5
Canada

Teresa Scassa

University of Ottawa - Common Law Section ( email )

57 Louis Pasteur Street
Ottawa, K1N 6N5
Canada
6135625800x3872 (Phone)
6135645124 (Fax)

Monica Stephens

Department of Geography ( email )

123 Wilkeson Quad
Department of Geography
Buffalo, NY 14216
United States

Pamela Robinson

Ryerson University ( email )

350 Victoria Street
Toronto, Ontario M5B 2K3
Canada

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