A new report from the USGS looks closer at the impact and value of open geospatial information
From the USGS…
The production and accessibility of geospatial information including Earth observation is changing greatly both technically and in terms of human participation. Advances in technology have changed the way that geospatial data are produced and accessed, resulting in more efficient processes and greater accessibility than ever before. Improved technology has also created opportunities for increased participation in the gathering and interpretation of data through crowdsourcing and citizen science efforts. Increased accessibility has resulted in greater participation in the use of data as prices for Government-produced data have fallen and barriers to access have been reduced.
The increase in participation in the production and in the use of data, defined as data democracy for this workshop, are having great impacts on economics and more generally on society.
There is also a strong drive by governments around the world, as shown by the G8 Declaration in June 2013, to make public sector information and scientific data more widely accessible. These are respectively termed “open data” and “open research data.”
This report summarizes discussion at the Workshop on Assessing the Impact and Value of Open Geospatial Information held at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. in October 2014. Workshop participants examined the consequences of expanding data democracy with a focus on its socioeconomic impacts. Evaluations were presented of state-of-the-art methods to assess these socioeconomic impacts, which included position papers and remarks by discussants. The workshop included discussions about the following topics: (1) increased and expanded information sources; (2) societal impacts, including approaches to economics assessments; (3) constraints to open access, including the demands for return on investment, specifications of intellectual property rights, and privacy issues; and (4) learning from the experiences of other data-rich domains, such as environmental management, internet businesses, health, and transportation.