DO OPEN GEODATA ACTUALLY HAVE THE QUALITY THEY DECLARE? THE CASE STUDY OF MILAN, ITALY
Keywords: Data Quality, Metadata, Milan, Open Data, Open Geodata, Positional Accuracy
Abstract. In the past number of years there has been an amazing flourishing of spatial data products released with open licenses. Researchers and professionals are extensively exploiting open geodata for many applications, which, in turn, include decision-making results and other (derived) geospatial datasets among their outputs. Despite the traditional availability of metadata, a question arises about the actual quality of open geodata, as their declared quality is typically given for granted without any systematic assessment. The present work investigates the case study of Milan Municipality (Northern Italy). A wide set of open geodata are available for this area which are released by national, regional and local authoritative entities. A comprehensive cataloguing operation is first performed, with 1061 geospatial open datasets from Italian providers found which highly differ in terms of license, format, scale, content, and release date. Among the many quality parameters for geospatial data, the work focuses on positional accuracy. An example of positional accuracy assessment is described for an openly-licensed orthophoto through comparison with the official, up-to-date, and large-scale vector cartography of Milan. The comparison is run according to the guidelines provided by ISO and shows that the positional accuracy declared by the orthophoto provider does not correspond to the reality. Similar results are found from analyses on other datasets (not presented here). Implications are twofold: raising the awareness on the risks of using open geodata by taking their quality for granted; and highlighting the need for open geodata providers to introduce or refine mechanisms for data quality control.