Open Data in Denmark (2013/17)


As early as 2009, the first agreements on easy access to geospatial data between public entities in Denmark were in place. These agreements were based on a financial re-distribution between the public users on state, regional and municipal levels, allowing the free use of data for internal purposes – but with limitations on external use. At this point in time, private users still had to pay for their access to, and use of, national geospatial data.

Spurred by the perceived benefits of opening up some of these datasets, negotiations were brokered between the Municipalities and the Ministry of Finance, and a business case for opening up the geospatial datasets was put forward. The business case was based on the premise that open geospatial data generates both a production, or market effect and an efficiency effect. The increased market share of these companies was also computed as part of the overall socio-economic benefits of the initiative.

Geographical scope


Non-quantified impacts

SDFE’s geospatial data distribution channel “Kortforsyningen” received a record high of 4.5 billion data requests during 2017. This is a result of the open data policy, and SDFE’s efforts to make data easy to find, use and combine with other data.

As well as improving the response time of some public services, the data are being increasing taken up by the private sector to improve existing services. Some recent use-cases relate to buying real estate, renting city bikes, assessing the risk for burglary, and illustrating the geospatial distribution of tax rates. Furthermore, use cases identified in the follow-up study include climate proofing, industry analysis and facility management.

Quantifiable impacts

Benefits for the entire Danish economy were identified, estimated at the time (2012) to amount to more than EUR 200 million.

A follow-up study estimated the socio-economic value of geospatial data to be in the region of EUR 500 million in 2016. The number of users also rose by a factor of 75 between 2012 and 2016.


Find ‘Open Data in Denmark: An interview with Olav Eggers, Danish Agency for Data Supply and Efficiency’ and further references at:


Study type

Two economic benefit assessments published in 2013 (baseline) and 2017.

Economy sector

Public Safety and Security, Disaster Risk Management, Real Estate and Land Administration, Public Sector Local Government, Public Sector Central Government