[@OKFNau] Sustainable open data

Andrew Newman andrewfnewman at gmail.com
Mon Sep 2 02:49:51 UTC 2013

I went to Rufus's talk on Friday about Open Data and I asked about the
quality and sustainability of producing open data.

I wonder about how it's going to work generally? The open data movement is
great and I'd like to see it work but the revenue model seems broken.
 Companies like Google, Facebook, etc. make money selling data and
services. The government can provide amazing infrastructure (Internet, GPS,
public data sets, etc) but it then fails to capture the biggest revenue
stream from these companies which is tax - they are phenomenally good at
paying almost no tax [1].  Is there an alternative revenue stream?

One project that I'm thinking of, the Queensland Globe, relied on low or
free licenses and converting the data to one that could be used by Google
Earth Enterprise.  It doesn't seem to have been thought of in a sustainable

Related to this idea is that governments should try and consume the data
they produce so that they can reduce the duplication (using a proprietary
system and producing regular data dumps).  If it's seen as something
external to their process they can just cut off the data dumps.

Rufus mentioned API/services and paying to update (submitting the data
attracts a fee) - I think it would help but a lot of these systems already
have these models in place and still aren't done sustainably.  It seems
they think of IT more of a project of work, with a deadline, that is
completed rather than one that has constant feedback and maintenance costs.

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