EuroGeographics: European Location Framework (ELF) Business Case


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.

Project Description

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.

Danish Geodata Agency (GST): Specification for Benefits Realisation Study

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.

ACIL Allen: Assessment of the Value of Information Infrastructure as an Asset

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.