The benefits of open address data in Denmark

by | Jan 24, 2022


Principle 1, address register, geospatial infrastructure, point-based foundation, open data


This use case mainly refers to the recommendations provided within Principle 1, that all countries should set up a single, national and authoritative address register based on national and/or international standards. In addition, it illustrates how open address data can create strong incentives for the whole society to use and implement authoritative national data in their businesses.

In 2002, the Danish government, having determined that “free and unrestricted access to addresses of high quality is beneficial to the public and forms the basis for reaping substantial benefits in public administration and in industry and commerce”, released its authoritative Danish address database free of charge.

Eight years later the decision, the government analysed the impact of opening up Danish address data and came to the following conclusions:

  • Reuse: In 2010, free-of-charge address data was delivered to total of 1,236 parties of which 70% were from private companies, 20% from the central government and 10% from municipalities.
  • Financial Benefit: In 2009, an independent consulting firm determined that the direct benefit of free-of-charge address data from 20005-2009 was 62 Million Euros. This number was expected to rise in 2010 with the projected value of free-of-charge address data for 2010 projected to be 14 Million Euro. The total cost of the programme up until 2009 was around 2 Million Euros and was expected to be 0.2 Million euros in 2010.
  • Indirect or Derived Benefits:
    • Elimination of Duplicate Collection: Releasing public address data has eliminated duplication of data collection.
    • Improved Public Service Coordination: Increased confidence that emergency services, ambulances, police and other emergency services all use the same geospatial reference data. An additional benefit is that, given that reporting errors or omission in the data has been simplified, consumers of the above-mentioned service can have increased confidence that the reference data is more accurate.
    • Higher Quality Data & Standardisation: Simplify the process by which errors and omissions are reported users can report by ensuring that errors only have to be corrected by one party, in one place. Furthermore, the release of free-of-charge address data has meant that there is now a standardised and unified address data format for Denmark.
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