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A Single Digital Market for Industrial Geospatial Data Assets

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - OpertusMundi (A Single Digital Market for Industrial Geospatial Data Assets)

Reporting period: 2020-01-01 to 2021-06-30

Geospatial data is the cornerstone of any application, service, and product even remotely related to our physical surroundings. From navigation applications and social networks, to tourism and logistics, geospatial data assets are the core foundations, enablers and value multipliers of our physical and digital economy.
Despite the significance of geospatial data for our Data Economy, an assessment of the current market landscape reveals a gap between policy intentions and subsequent industrial uptake. Open data policies have been an immense success, increasing transparency and accountability, while feeding the industry with low-cost geospatial data that were previously unattainable.
However, the early enthusiasm did not materialize into tangible value for the private sector, due to the limitations of open geospatial data in terms of quality, coverage, timeliness, and actual total cost of ownership.
The subsequent rise in demand for high-quality geospatial data assets has not reached proprietary geospatial data owners, which at large continue with their previous clientele and business offerings.
The market of geospatial data owners and consumers on an EU setting remains disjoint and fragmented, with assets difficult to discover, assess, obtain, and integrate in a cross-domain, cross-border, and cross-lingual manner from most prospective consumers of the geospatial value chain. The Digital Single Market for geospatial data is unfortunately not a reality, as one can simply observe by the dominance of non-EU stakeholders in geospatial information provision. This status quo demands an EU-wide intervention targeted on delivering a Digital Single Market for proprietary geospatial data, addressing the heterogeneity, disparity, and fragmentation of geospatial data products in a cross-border and inclusive manner.
OpertusMundi will deliver a trusted, secure, and highly scalable pan-European industrial geospatial data market, which will act as a single-point for the streamlined and trusted discovery, sharing, trading, remuneration, and use of proprietary geospatial data assets, guaranteeing low-cost and flexibility to accommodate current and emerging needs of Data Economy stakeholders regardless of size, domain, and expertise.
Our goal is inspired by, and grounded on, the real-world landscape and industry-led challenges of the fragmented geospatial data value chain in the EU, the most valuable and foundational thematic area of proprietary data, aiming to deliver a critical missing component and enabler for EU’s Data Economy. The output of our work will go beyond the simple provision of an Industrial Data Platform, ensuring its sustainable operation after the end of the project.
During this period, we focused on the design, development, and deployment of the OpertusMundi marketplace, which is now available under The Topio marketplace provides:
- integrated support for de facto and de jure standards for the provision of geospatial metadata, data, and services, thus enabling the reuse of existing assets;
- simple to use, yet comprehensive, wizards guiding asset suppliers and clients across their interactions with the marketplace;
- provision of rich and purposeful automated metadata (i.e. data profiling) for assets, ensuring prospective clients have a better understanding of the assets before purchase;
- contract and license embedding in contracts templates, providing both the required homogeneity between terms and conditions on an EU-level (i.e. Digital Single Market - DSM), as well as support for existing practices of the geospatial stakeholders;
- comprehensive and flexible empowerment of asset suppliers in how their assets are marketed across their lifecycle (e.g. provision of an asset via multiple pricing models, multiple terms/restrictions serving different business models);
- democratized support for mainstream and novel pricing models for geospatial assets, aiming to better align offer and demand, by lowering the entry barrier for prospective clients and increasing revenue-generating opportunities for suppliers;
- integrated and mandatory application of KYB/KYC flows for assets suppliers and clients, minimizing risk for fraud and ensuring conformance with EU regulations;
- fair, non-preferential, and equal treatment of all asset suppliers in terms of how their assets are discovered and presented by prospective clients, with free comprehensive analytics both for the market uptake of their assets, as well as the marketplace itself
Topio aims to directly and indirectly increase the value of EU geospatial assets by making them simpler to discover, share, trade, and use. We intend to lower the entry barrier for data owners and data consumers alike, allow them to harness network effects and economies of scale, and support current and emerging business models for synergetic value generation along the geospatial value chain.
• Discoverability. We will directly increase the value of proprietary geospatial assets by increasing their discoverability through a low-cost, standards-compliant, single point for publishing and discovering cross-domain and cross-border assets. This will allow owners and producers to gain visibility, expand their market reach, and grow beyond their existing clientele, thus directly generating more value from existing investments.
• Value-added services. We will directly increase the value extracted from proprietary geospatial assets by enabling owners to provide, market, and monetize their assets through new product offerings, business models, and value chain instances provided directly within the platform, and with minimal effort on their behalf. This will allow them to harness technical knowhow and facilities well outside their reach, enlarge their market share, and increase revenue streams.
• Streamline contracting. We will indirectly increase the value of proprietary geospatial assets by streamlining their licensing and contracting through flexible and harmonized cross-border electronic contracts between the platform, owners, consumers, as well as multiple data owners (multi-party). As such, we will reduce legal and administrative overheads, avoid license conflicts, and reduce time-to-purchase.
• Flexible pricing. We will directly increase the value harnessed from proprietary assets by supporting the definition and active management of flexible pricing models and price points for geospatial data assets, thus better responding to market demand. This will enable owners to accurately and flexibly position their assets in the market, increase sales, explore new sectors and value chain segments with small effort.
• Optimize data placing. We will indirectly increase the value extracted from proprietary geospatial data assets by allowing data consumers to make informed decisions regarding the scope of permitted asset use, scale, and confidentiality. This would mitigate the frequency and severity of barriers appearing during real-world use of assets, thus minimizing effort, increasing satisfaction, and supporting stronger synergies along the value chain.