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Publicly Available Geodata Furthers Innovation and Economic Growth

By Ministry of Energy, Utilities and Climate, March 27, 2017

According to a new study, free and publicly available geospatial data and information (geodata) has contributed significantly to the efficiency of the public sector as well as growth in the private sector, with an estimated value of DKK 3.5 billion. The geodata is of great significance to the development of new products and services within different energy sectors.

The development of society makes great demands on the public sector and its ability to work efficiently and continuously make smart decisions that keep up with ongoing advancements. Data and digitalisation play an important role in this endeavour by providing new and effective ways to do things.

Since 2013, the Danish Agency for Data Supply and Efficiency has put free geodata at everyone’s disposal. Among other things, it is used to calculate the current of water during extreme rainfall and when the water level in the ocean rises. We now know that there are socioeconomic benefits to the free, available geodata.

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That is what a new study by PwC in collaboration with the agency shows. The number of people using the free geodata has increased from approx. 800 to approx. 60.000 users. And the number of data transfers have quadrupled after the data was made publicly available in 2013. More than 60% of public authorities indicate an improved efficiency and a better basis for decisions due to their use of the geodata.  

– As minister of utilities for electricity, water, heat and telecommunications to citizens and companies, it is second nature to me that supply has to create actual value. 99.996% of the time, we have a supply of electricity to power outlets in Denmark. And completely comparable to this, the supply of free, available geodata has value in society. I am glad that we are now able to calculate the data’s actual value, says Danish Minister of Energy, Utilities and Climate, Lars Chr. Lilleholt.

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New products and services

The geodata has great significance to the development of new products and services. The company Scalgo has for example developed a data analysis tool that builds on the geodata. The tool is now sold as an off-the-shelf item to municipalities in Denmark, Danish supply companies, as well as private companies. The integrated data analysis tool is used in work related to, for example, flood risks within areas of climate adaptation and urban planning.

– The free geodata has become an important resource for the digitalisation of our society. It is crucial to the efficiency of the public sector and to the creation of growth in the private sector. It is a win-win, says Danish Minister of Energy, Utilities and Climate, Lars Chr. Lilleholt.

Approximately 70% of the consulted companies expect that the geodata will have a positive influence on their economic growth the next 3-4 years. There is also indication of additional potential in utilising the geodata in new areas of administration within the public sector.

For that reason, the Danish Agency for Data Supply and Efficiency has a continued focus on making it easy to use and connect to the geodata as well as making the integration of geodata into solutions and services as simple and as easy as possible. This is crucial if the unresolved potential in the geodata, as highlighted in the study, is to be realised.

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Facts about the study and the geodata

  • Based on the estimated production and efficiency effect of the geodata, the economic value of the data is a total of DKK 3.5 billion.
  • The study shows that the use of geodata has increased significantly since it was made available in 2013.
  • The number of users of the geodata has increased from approx. 800 to approx. 60.000.
  • The number of data transfers has quadrupled
  • The geodata has found new areas of use which benefit the efficiency and growth of society.
  • More than 60% of the consulted public authorities indicate, that they reach an improved efficiency and a better basis for decisions based on the geodata.
  • The geodata has great significance for the development of innovative products and services in the private sector.
  • In the public sector, there is an indication of great potential for the geodata to expand into new areas of administration and have influence on assignment work in 3-4 years. 

Source: Danish Ministry of Energy, Utilities and Climate

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