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Hermans, Outi
Hermans, Raine
Year of Publication: 
Series/Report no.: 
ETLA Discussion Papers 1194
Public sector organizations are important producers of the core geographic information (GI). Data sharing is aggravated by e.g. highly varying policies to sharing and pricing the data. For instance, since the governmental data producer sets the price level high, it seems to restrict innovative ways to use data sets especially among small sized companies as well as in research and development activity of their large counterparts. There has been public debate between GI experts regarding pricing policies, although the economic analysis of impacts has almost remained as an untouched area of research yet to be thoroughly studied. This study aims to fill the gap. We conducted a survey covering leaders of 23 organizations, including both enterprises and public sectors organizations, involved in using geographic information. The respondents described how they generate or utilize geographical data. Their annual statements were also collected from 2001-2005 and anticipated key indicators for the year 2010. Interviews dealt with their definitions of geographical data, benefits and barriers to use the data, income made by creating value out of the data as well as their opinions about the pricing policies. Size of the organization and budgeting policies (incl. ability to use earnings within the organization) seemed to regulate the ideal pricing policy recommended by the organization. The principal component model was able to explain 82 percent of the variation of the variables regarding the recommendations and other features of the organizations. We also applied input-output analysis in Monte Carlo simulation to anticipate the impact of different pricing policies on the entire Finnish economy. The simulation suggests an increase of 6-12 Million Euros to GDP in five years if pricing policies are fixed at their present mode. Sharing the publicly owned geographic information at the lowest possible price level, could boost the GNP by 16-24 Million Euros. This means approximately a rather modest growth contribution to the GDP, .0021-.0031 percentage points GDP growth on an annual basis. If low pricing stimulates entrepreneurship more vitally, this could mean even more significant multiplier effects on GDP. For boosting the economic growth by wider usage of geographical data, it would be essentially important to apply new innovative ways to use geographical information in new contexts and application areas. This kind of innovative activity could be strengthened by the low price regime.
Data sharing
geographic information
public sector information
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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