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European Union Location Framework (EULF) selected benefits studies (SDIs and INSPIRE, economic studies, e-Government, ICT standards, and Open Data)

Question asked by fgil on Dec 17, 2014

According to the European Union Location Framework (EULF) Strategic Vision (v 0.3) (1) I present below a list (extracted from the previously cited study (1)), highlighting selected benefits studies in the areas of SDIs and INSPIRE, economic studies, e-Government, ICT standardisation and interoperability, and Open Data:

  • SDIs and INSPIRE
    • The INSPIRE Impact Assessment of 2003-4 (2) estimated benefits 7-10 times higher than costs, with savings of €200-300m p.a., a significant proportion in environmental reporting. The Catalonia SDI Study (2007) (3) estimated efficiency benefits of €2.6m p.a. and costs recovered in 6 months, and the Lombardia SDI Study (2009) (4) estimated 11% cost savings and 17% time savings in environmental reporting. A study of 15 e-Cadastres in Europe (5) estimated savings of €231bn p.a. compared with non-digital solutions.
    • Evidence of benefits materialises once the infrastructure is in place and is being used. This process is reflected in benefits measurement initiatives in Finland (the GIS maturity model (6)), Denmark (the Business Case Model (7)), and the UK (Benefits Realisation Strategy (8)).
  • Economic Studies
    • ACIL Tasman conducted studies in Australia (2008) and New Zealand (2009) on the value of spatial information to the national economies (9). The Australian study found that in 2006/07 the spatial information industry generated revenues of A29.51€bn (€92bn) and contributed between A5.1€bn (€4.3bn) and A10.05€bn (€12.6bn) to GDP (equivalent to between 0.6% and 1.2% of GDP). The report also estimated that constraints on data access had reduced productivity in certain sectors by between 5% and 15%, resulting in GDP being around 7% lower in 2006/07 that it might otherwise have been.
    • A study, commissioned by Google, and published in 2013, examined the global economic impact of Geo services (10). Among the main findings were that global revenues from Geo services are between 119.65€bn (€113bn) and 215.36€bn (€203bn) p.a. and that Geo services contribute to significant cost savings.
  • e-Government
    • An Australian study in 2003 (11) , surveyed 38 e-Government projects. Cost savings to public authorities were expected in 24 of these projects, with total savings of A79.76€m (€67m) against an investment of A86.15€m (€72m) (a benefit cost ratio of 92.5% or 61.1% if all projects were taken into account). A user survey estimated citizen cost savings of A11.66€ (€9.8) per transaction and business cost savings of A19.94€(€16) per transaction. In a similar study of 14 UK e-Government projects, all except one forecast positive returns and payback varied 4 months and 11.5 years, with an average of 4.8 years.
  • ICT Standardisation and Interoperability
    • A Booz Allen study for NASA on the use of geospatial interoperability standards (12) showed that there is a significant improvement in functionality and decrease in cost when using open as opposed to proprietary standards. Two projects were compared and the one using open standards had a risk-adjusted ROI of 163% and saved 26.2% compared to the project that relied on proprietary standards. In addition, maintenance and operation costs were lower, future projects using the same standards were cheaper to implement, and the open solution delivered 55% more value to its stakeholders.
  • Open Data
    • The Open Data Strategy for Europe, announced in 2011, encourages public authorities to make their data openly available for re-use. This is expected to deliver a €40bn boost to the EU economy. In a Commission survey, nearly 80% of respondents said they were prevented from making full use of location information - through issues with fees, licensing and lack of understanding.
    • A review of public sector information (PSI) re-use by Vickery in 2011 (13) concluded that with easier access, improved infrastructure and lower barriers, the economic impacts from PSI applications and use across the EU27 economy in 2008 could have increased from €140bn to around €200bn. In the geospatial sector, economic benefits could increase by 10%-40% through improved access, use of data standards and building skills and knowledge. Productivity could be doubled with better policies and new markets could develop in finance, energy and construction.




(2) Contribution to the Extended Impact Assessment for INSPIRE, 2003:

(3)The Socio Economic Impact of the Spatial Data Infrastructure of Catalunya, JRC, 2008:

(4) The Socio Economic Impact of the Spatial Data Infrastructure in Regione Lombardia, JRC, 2011:

(5) Estimating Benefits of Spatial Data Infrastructures: A Case Study on e-Cadastres, 2012:

(6) Model for Assessing the GIS Maturity of an Organisation, 2011:

(7) INSPIRE in Danish e-Government, 2012:

(8) UK Location Programme, Benefits Realisation Strategy, 2012:

(9) The value of spatial information to the Australian and New Zealand economies, ACIL Tasman 2008/09 :

(10) What is the Economic Impact of Geo Services? - a report prepared by Oxera for Google, 2013:

(11) Australian National Office for the Information Economy e-Government Benefits Survey, 2003:

(12) NASA's Geospatial Standards ROI Study, 2004/05 - A Case Study from the Network Centric Operations Industry Consortium:

(13) Review of Recent Studies on PSI Re-use and Related Developments, Vickery 2011: