Value of Spatial Information


The value of geographic/geospatial information, particularly of that produced by the public sector, is a matter of ongoing debate and analysis. Take a look at the following three studies from Europe and Australia.

The Value of Spatial Information: The Impact of Modern Spatial Technologies on the Australian Economy

Author(s): ACIL Tasman Pty Ltd
Publication Date: March 2008

According to a new study on the economic impact of spatial information released by Australia’s Spatial Information Council (ANZLIC), the spatial information industry is a major contributor to the national economy generating revenue of A$1.37 billion in the 2006/07 financial year. This is a contribution of between $6.4 and $12.6 billion to Gross Domestic Product (GDP).  The study also estimated that inefficient access to data reduces the direct productivity of some sectors by between five and 15 per cent.

Source: CRCSI


Assessment of Public Sector Information Re-Use

Author(s): European Commission
Publication Date: In Progress, launched April 2008

Another study that will look at use and value of spatial information is the European Commission’s assessment of public sector information re-use, including geographic information, meteorological information, and legal information.  As reported by Christopher Corbin on the ePSIPlus (April 18, 2008):

As part of the review of the European Union Directive 2003/98/EC the European Commission has let a contract to Management Consulting GmbH (MICUS) to under take a survey of three public sector information re-use sectors: geographic information; meteorological information; and legal information.

The survey methodology is to first request the public sector information holders of geographic information in each European Member State to complete a questionnaire which includes identifying the re-users of the information that they hold. The second step is to then ask the re-users identified by the Public Sector Information Holders to complete a questionnaire.

It maybe that not all the re-users of geographic information in each Member State will be identified from step one. As such MICUS is asking re-users to complete the questionnaire (an online questionnaire). The PDF versions of the questionnaires for geographic information maybe found under the ePSIplus Reports TAB at URL:

Source: ePSIPlus


Commercial Use of Public Information (CUPI)

Author(s): UK Office of Fair Trading (OFT), DotEcon
Date: December 2006

This British study looks at the markets for Public Sector Information (PSI) and how well the supply is working for customers. In her presentation “The price of everything but the value of nothing,” given at the OECD Workshop in February 2008, Antoinette Graves makes the following points, as forwarded by Roger Longhorn, Co-Chair of the GSDI Legal and Socioeconomic Working Group:

Previous studies considered gross value added by PSI in the economy -a ‘top-down approach’. These studies often overestimate the true value of PSI to the economy by ignoring the substitutes available in the absence of PSI. In effect, this methodology can only demonstrate the ‘value that can be linked with PSI’ rather than the value of PSI itself.

The methodology used in the OFT study “estimated the value today with current PSI, considering the net economic value of PSI: i.e. willingness to pay for PSI minus cost of producing & supplying it.” In other words, it used a “Bottom-up approach”, estimated by adding together (a) “the amount people are willing to pay for PSI over and above what they currently pay” and “the extent to which PSIHs gain revenues from PSI which exceed the costs of producing and supplying it.”

Source(s): OFT, Roger Longhorn


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