The project involved the implementation of the European Union INSPIRE programme, a data specification for a series of fundamental data themes sufficient for each member state to be able to supply data without new capture being required. The specification was to be developed using the Unified Modelling Language (UML) by a team of experts drawn from across Europe.
Andrew Coote was selected to lead the team which was to develop the specification for the address theme. Much of the work involved establishing common terminology and data definitions, as well as training technical experts in UML. After the initial specification was submitted several hundred comments from interested organisations, as well as official bodies in the member states, had to be taken into consideration. Additional effort was required to harmonise specifications between related themes, such as cadastre and transport networks. Furthermore, the Universal Postal Union (UPU) also had an interest in this work, as did ISO who have subsequently taken the INSPIRE work as one of their primary profiles in their draft addressing standard.
The project was to establish the business case for long-term sustainability of this European Union funded project which aims to harmonise data from all National Mapping organisations across Europe.
Cost-benefit analysis based on the gradual availability of products from the countries participation in ELF over a 5 year period was modelled. The adoption rates of the products and services were inferred from interviews, assessment of competition and projections of EuroGeographics revenues. The EuroGeographics team has been trained in the use of the model we provided, so that this can be updated as the ELF proposition becomes more mature.
Approach and Methodology
The project team initially documented the ELF proposition for various markets, outlining the relevant applications, data required that ELF would offer and key potential customers. A proportion of potential customers in each of 10 sectors were then interviewed to establish the likely costs and benefits of ELF data and services to their businesses.
The European Commission preferred approach to cost-benefit analysis of information services in an open data (i.e. non-revenue based business model) was established by study of some of the largest current projects in the geospatial domain, particularly Copernicus (formerly GMES). The value of Information technique pioneered by the economists Macauley and Norhaus and used in these studies was then applied for markets where direct interviews proved ineffective.
The main benefits identified were reducing data discovering costs, data transformation and conflation. The most attractive markets were the European commission itself, land and property and insurance. Recommendations were made of necessary levels of investment and channels to market.
The project involves consultancy to the Danish Geodata Agency (GST) in developing the specification for a benefits realisation study. This is in the context of Denmark’s initiative for open basic data under which all geospatial base data has been made free at the point of use. The benefits realisation study will establish the economic baseline (before open data was available) and methods for monitoring the realisation of benefits up to 2015.
The project involves the analysis of the business case for open data, internal workshops with senior GST staff, review of the specification and tender responses.
ConsultingWhere contributed content to the foresight study, compiled by the AGI in UK, was an environment scan for the geographic information market in the United Kingdom. The project recruited over 40 domain experts in technologies, markets and data themes. Each contributed a professional paper containing a description of the current status, key trends and a scenario for their sector in 2020 (a 5 year horizon).
A summary paper was written by the editors and published alongside the expert opinions on the AGI website at http://www.agi.org.uk/foresight/. The results were presented at numerous conferences to widespread critical acclaim.
ConsultingWhere designed and undertook a study for ACIL Allen (Economic Consultants, Australia) to evaluate how public agencies might present business cases for geospatial information by considering it as a component of the national infrastructure and using the same financial approach as might be adopted for investment in the national road or utility network. The study involved cost-benefit analysis, asset valuation and discounted cash flow. There was also a substantial interview programme involving commercial and public sector users of address information.