All in? Identifying and tackling private sector’s barriers to data sharing: A Perspective on geospatial data in the Netherlands

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There is a drive to create an inclusive open data ecosystem, that includes public, private and academic open data [Loenen et al., 2021]. There is a lot of existing research in Open Government Data [Janssen et al., 2012; van Panhuis et al., 2014; Martin et al., 2013] and plethora of OGD in the Netherlands. Although the private sector produces a lot of data, those are not open, as they are not participating in data sharing. In order, to fill the existing data gap, that OGD create, the EU [Commission, 2018], specifically with the Open Data Directive, started to promote more openness in private sector data, especially geospatial data. So far this, it is only done for public undertakings, as a sector in between public and private Boone and van Loenen [2022]; van Veenstra and van den Broek [2013]. The private sector is not bounded by legislation to share their geospatial data.

This research aims to identify what are the challenges to arrive at an ecosystem with more open private sector data, through the identification of the barriers in the process, in relation to the level of openness they are and how to move forward. Five categories of barriers are identified, strategic, technical, legal, economic, cultural and a multi model with 4 levels of openness is used, to identify the current state of geospatial data sharing of 9 companies in the Netherlands. The results show that companies that are providers of data are mostly sharing internally, trying to share with external users, while companies that are intermediaries are mostly sharing with some external users but they are not sharing fully open data yet, and the companies as user of existing open data are difficult to identify. This research demonstrates the influence of the role of the company in data sharing and the level of dataset, project, department in the barriers that the private sector faces and prevent them from sharing geospatial data in the Netherlands.