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Arnulf attended the Geospatial World Forum 2013 from May 16. to 18. 2013 in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. His presentation carried the title Open Data in the Geospatial Context.


Civita Vitae

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Arnulf Christl

Arnulf Christl is director of Metaspatial specializing on open geospatial data access technology and policies. He is a member of the OGC Architecture Board coordinating international standard development. Until 2012 he was president of the Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo) which he co-founded in 2006. He developed the architecture of the eContent+ project ESDIN for a consortium of 12 European National Mapping Agencies. He has a thorough background in agile management and has guided a diverse selection of teams through the changes that are required for successful implementation. In his latest project he consulted to the Ordnance Survey of Great Britain as principal architect.

Open Data in the Geospatial Context

Presentation given in the Open Source block on Thursday afternoon.


The term "Open Data" touches a broad range of aspects concerning data access, ownership, copyright, licensing and policy but not well defined. This presentation will clarify all major aspects concerning Open Data. Without a clear definition there is a lot of potential for misunderstanding depending on who is using it in which context. At the same time Open Data has become a core term used in data policies which also calls of a much clearer definition. Increasingly businesses are looking into how Open Data can be leveraged to create added value. To bring clarity into this situation the Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo) maintains a white paper on Open Data in the geospatial context. It contains a clear definition of the terms, puts them into context and offers an additional set of criteria to more precisely define the scope of Open Data. It can be split into three major types:

  1. Factual data collections where values should not be modified (e.g. temperature measurement, speed control data).
  2. Authoritative data which is part of a legal framework and system.
  3. Community processed data which is created and maintained in an open and transparent consensus process.

Finally the presentation will give examples of commercial uses of all three types of Open Data.

Slide Set

The slide set is available as HTML with JavaScript for Online Viewing.