The high cost of the lack of open data

From Peter Suber’s blog:


The high cost of the lack of open data

14:43 25/03/2008, Peter Suber, Open Access News

The Value of Spatial Information, a report by ACIL Tasman prepared for Australia’s Cooperative Research Centre for Spatial Information and ANZLIC, March 2008.  (Thanks to Baden Appleyard.)  From the executive summary:

…Constraints on access to data are estimated to have reduced the direct productivity impacts in certain sectors by between 5% and 15%. It is estimated that this could have resulted in GDP and consumption being around 7% lower in 2006-07 (around $0.5 billion) than it might otherwise have been….

Comment.  These are big numbers and it takes a minute to put them in perspective.  In one country (Australia) in one year (2006-07), lack of OA to one kind of data (spatial data) cost the economy $500,000,000.

PMR: I hardly need to comment. However in our current discussions at Dagstuhl on Text Mining and Ontologies in the Life Sciences it is clear how valuable Open Data is. It’s also clear how much the lack of open data in chemistry holds back innovation. I don’t have numbers, but it would be great to have an economist look at this…

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One Response to The high cost of the lack of open data

  1. Nico Adams says:

    as a mater of fact, one such study has just been published by Rufus Pollock and colleagues. You can download the full study from the Department for Business, Employment and Regulatory Reform’s website here.
    Briefly, the study came to the conclusion that the British economy could benefit to the tune of GBP 147 million, if the Ordnance Survey, Land Registry and Met office data were open.

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