The Value of Open Data

Experiences from Setting Free Data in Denmark

By Gregers Petersen, Septima - @GregersP


  • The Danish Basic Data Program
  • The Free Danish Data
  • What We can do Now
  • Impacts

The Danish Basic Data Program

Basic Data

“[] various core information about individuals, businesses, real properties, buildings, addresses, and more.”

"Good Basic Data for Everyone – A Driver for Growth and Efficiency",
The Danish Government / Local Government Denmark, Oct 2012

Is Financing

“ data, cadastral maps, Central Business Register data, and company data will be financed by the government and released to the public and the private sectors...”

Is Linkability

What is basic data

Is Distribution

Is Coordination

“ ensure efficient, effective and coordinated development and use of basic data, a cross-institutional basic-data committee is to be established...”

The Free Danish Data

All Basic Data* is Free

“...As a general rule, all basic data is to be made freely available to all public authorities, private businesses and individuals.”


Cadastral map and orthophoto
Download portal, later shared with Kartverket (Norway).
(Many) existing webservices also opened

Company Data

Both web- and download-services

Address Data

...though they were already free, and being distributed.

What We can do Now

Private Business

B2B and B2C now possible without huge data costs
Quickly testing a new idea with real data is now possible

Enrich own Datasets

Mash-Up and Combine

Combined data (map and DTM)

"Big Data"

Big data is the next big thing, or?

Things to Click on you own time

What Have the Impacts Been?

Seriously High Usage

Mads Bjørn-Møldrup presentation
(Data freed in January 2013)

Other Data Users

New users on Kortforsyningen
New users on the Geodata Agencys services

Wider Use of Data

Users do not pay
Survey by The Danish Geodata Agency

Diverse Use of Data

Media use of DAGI
  • Real Estate sites
  • Graveyard planning software
  • MS Flight Simulator plugins
  • Health systems
  • OpenStreetMap
  • Planners and builders
  • Amateur historians
  • Media
  • ...and many more

Innovation Process


We now make the product, before they might be thought up in the public administration. We take the risk!

We test a lot of ideas, and we create and sell the added value.

Economic gain

No need to cover over 10M DKK of data to start project.

The free addresses gave a direct gain of 14 mio € / year! just the first and second link

Better Data

Involving the user
Users are interested in good data, and help correct them.
They get involved.

Better Insight

Through media, and own curiosity


We gave them so much, and now they're angry?

Fear and Doubt

What if my house is flooded? What if our data is wrong?


Data can - and will - be used to show something that is wrong.

In Conclusion

Alfred Eisenstaedt - Children at a Puppet Theater, Paris, 1963

Thank you for your patience

Gregers Petersen


The Future: Consolidation & More Data

Data in Datadistributor
More free data - and the common data distribution platform...

The Future: Noone Knows

World of Warcraft - Great Sword of Prides Fall
In 2000 no one would have believed that so many people would pay real money for a special sword in a virtual game

But the future is bright