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Project: Objectives

OpertusMundi will deliver a trusted, secure, and highly scalable pan-European industrial geospatial data market, which will act as a single-point for the streamlined and trusted discovery, sharing, trading, remuneration, and use of proprietary geospatial data assets, guaranteeing low-cost and flexibility to accommodate current and emerging needs of Data Economy stakeholders regardless of size, domain, and expertise.

In more detail, our vision will be implemented by pursuing the following objectives.

Objective 1 — Value Chain Alignment

Study and analyze the geospatial data value chain in EU to suitably align and position the platform with current and emerging needs of owners and consumers from a technical, organizational, legal, and business perspective. As such, this analysis will feed both the technical implementation of the platform and its subsequent sustainable operation to ensure its large-scale adoption. Towards this, we will document the preferred industrial formats for geospatial metadata, data, and services (standardized and ad hoc) and identify potential deficiencies in terms of coverage and expressiveness to facilitate consumers. Further, we will imprint and evaluate the current business models/practices, associated costs/pricing schemes, and contractual/licensing agreements of owners against best-practice examples on a cross-border and cross-domain setting. In parallel, we will assess the current and future demand of geospatial assets, emphasizing in product types, update frequency/quality, provision methods, market size, and thematic areas. Our priority will be to ensure the low-cost entry and continuous use of the platform for owners and consumers, backwards compatibility with existing business models/policies and agreements, flexibility for new profitable business models/offerings, and maximum coverage of the value chain.

Objective 2 — Contractual Compliance Lifecycle

Develop flexible, low-effort, complete, and automated facilities for managing the entire contractual lifecycle for geospatial data assets provided through the platform. Our goal is to simplify licensing, contracting, sharing, purchasing, and conformance monitoring, both for owners and consumers, suitably addressing the cross-border nature of the platform, the diversity in terms of assets, and the requirements of stakeholders from the entire value chain. Towards this, we will first establish an extensible core license applicable on an EU setting, along with various extensions regarding use-rights/restrictions of assets. This will comprise metadata, a description suitable for non-experts, and a legal text, acting as the foundation for license interoperability and clearing. A similar core contract with integrated SLA provisions will be established, aiming to harmonize contracting, assist automated monitoring via objective indicators, and management of disputes. Asset owners will be able to define and update their preferred licensing terms, contracting/SLA and pricing/payment arrangements, via a step-by-step wizard or assign the task to the platform’s specialized legal Helpdesk. In this manner, prospective customers will have clear and harmonized information regarding the complete terms of each asset before the actual purchase.

Objective 3 — Data Catalogue

Develop and deploy a scalable and secure catalogue for commercial and proprietary geospatial assets handling the entire lifecycle of asset provision, discovery, sharing, purchasing, and use for owners and consumers. The catalogue will be based on an existing system (PublicaMundi) which already supports the full lifecycle of geospatial asset publishing, treating them as first-class citizens. Our focus will be on suitably extending and adapting PublicaMundi to address the specific requirements of commercial and proprietary geospatial assets in terms of coverage, diversity, flexibility, scalability, security, and trust. The catalogue will natively support all types of metadata standards for geospatial assets, with integrated facilities for their editing, automatic transformation, and multi-lingual support to facilitate cross-border provision and discovery. Further, it will support publishing of all types of geospatial assets (e.g., vector, raster), services (e.g., OGC, proprietary APIs), and corresponding content (e.g., documentation, use examples), thus accommodating the real-world needs and requirements of owners and consumers. Further, to address business practices, restrictions, and practical constraints, the catalogue will natively support multiple asset provision options: from simple metadata provision for assets, up to their actual hosting. Regardless of the type of provision, the catalogue will provide a uniform experience to consumers, from asset discovery and evaluation, to contracting and purchasing, with only the actual delivery of the asset differing depending on owner policies.

Objective 4 — Asset Provision

Develop comprehensive, flexible, and low-cost publishing workflows and methodologies to streamline the secure and trusted provision of industrial geospatial data assets from owners. To address the diversity in assets, business models/practices, licensing, company size/focus, and security/trust in a homogenous, cross-border, and inclusive manner, all aspects of asset provision will be under the full control of owners (data sovereignty). Specifically, they will be able to publish only their metadata, or metadata and corresponding assets, or metadata and service end-points. Provision will be possible via standards-based catalogue services (harvesting), or directly to the platform through simple and intuitive interfaces. The platform will minimize effort for owners, natively support all industrial metadata standards, automatically handle their harmonization and transformation, and manage the unique identification and provenance of all published assets. Further, at any point in time the owner will be able to opt-in/out to/from more integrated provision models to host the actual assets or enable their automated provision via value-added services directly to consumers. In addition, the platform will automate the selection/clearing of appropriate licenses per asset offered, the definition of ad hoc pricing schemes, the accommodation of secure asset delivery methods, the generation and enforcement of contractual licensing agreements with consumers, and the continuous monitoring of use/sales analytics. As such, we aim to leverage existing investments/infrastructures of owners, keep costs and overheads low, maintain a finely-grained level of control over the lifecycle and provision of assets, gradually build trust for the platform, and provide additional revenue opportunities for owners.

Objective 5 — Asset Discovery and Acquisition

Develop inclusive, homogeneous and intuitive facilities for the discovery, evaluation, purchasing, and use of industrial geospatial data assets from end-users. Our goal is to make it simple and fast for prospective customers to find high-quality assets, assess their relevance for the intended use, compare with other available assets, and purchase them in a streamlined manner. Towards this, the platform will provide comprehensive multi-faceted search facilities exploiting available metadata (e.g., coverage, timeliness) and automatically calculated indicators (e.g., completeness) using a combination of keyword, thematical, free-text, and spatio-temporal criteria. For each asset, a high-level synopsis with detailed information will be presented, including its technical characteristics, documentation, sample, usage terms/restrictions, and price, as well as available means for acquiring and using it. Similarly to a standard electronic marketplace, the client will be recommended with similar and/or relevant assets, may assemble a collection of assets to compare, add an asset to her cart, and proceed with the actual purchase. Depending on the type of asset and owner’s preference, the client may start using the asset immediately, or follow an external payment and asset delivery process. Regardless of how the transaction is complete, a personalized dashboard will present to the client the full history of activities, purchases and relevant statistics.

Objective 6 — Value-added Services

Develop a suite of scalable, secure, and low-cost value-added services built on top of industrial geospatial assets published in the platform, to facilitate their discovery, evaluation, sharing, purchasing, and use in a cross-border and cross-domain setting. Our goal is to accommodate the real-world technical and organizational requirements of data owners and consumers of the geospatial value chain, with special consideration to SMEs and innovators of the Data Economy. This approach entails the provision of assets both in their original form/format, as well as through low-cost services, to simultaneously generate added value for owners and empower consumers. Owners can enjoy the provision of their assets via scalable state-of-the-art services that exceed their technical capacities and market size, bringing them in equal terms with larger non-EU companies. Consumers will gain access to high-value geospatial assets in modalities that perfectly suit modern software development and innovation schemes, allowing them to focus on developing their products and cost-effectively scale up/down as needed. This suite of facilities will comprise the automatic ingestion of the data assets in highly scalable data engines and the provision of data and mapping services following the explicit and optional (opt-in) contractual agreement of the owner, with fair remuneration both for the owner and the platform. Towards this, the platform will provide for vector and raster data: (a) full OGC-compliant services for discovery, querying, and visualization of assets, (b) APIs for querying and analysis, abstracting complexity for non-geospatial experts, (c) custom mapping APIs and libraries for the creation, styling, distribution, and embedding of custom maps in third-party products, and (d) Jupyter notebooks for interactive and scalable computing over large-scale computing infrastructures.

Objective 7 — Bootstrapping

Extensively test, evaluate, and validate the platform in a 12-month beta pilot before its large-scale availability, based on real-world use cases and KPIs, high-value industrial geospatial assets, and already committed owners. The platform will be deployed in an existing computing platform (HELIX) and initialized with assets provided by the Consortium, from owners that have already expressed their interest to participate, as well a selection of additional owners to ensure adequate coverage of the value chain across EU. Participating owners will be encouraged to invite their existing customers in the platform, disseminate its beta operation through their own networks, and perform complete asset acquisition transactions. During the pilot, the use of the platform will be free both for owners and consumers, with the Consortium managing, monitoring and supporting its operation and beta users. In parallel, we will be assessing the scalability of the platform to derive its future production costs. This will provide feedback to our innovation efforts, allow us to improve the platform on a technical, organizational, and business setting, update the KPIs assessing the satisfaction of our objectives, and serve as a first market replication for our technologies.

Objective 8 — Sustainable Operation

Deploy, initialize, operate, and commercialize our industrial geospatial data platform on a production setting across EU, ensuring its sustainable operation based on a validated business model under the joint ownership of all partners. Pursuing this objective involves intertwined and complementary actions on a technical, communication, and business perspective. A business model will be prepared, detailing the platform’s positioning, target groups, operation and scaling costs, revenue streams, and pricing models. This will be updated throughout the duration of the project to accommodate market evolution, feedback extracted from our pilot, novel business opportunities, and the output of our innovation actions. This line of work will feed and direct our communication actions, which will be founded on quantified examples regarding the benefits for data owners and consumers, with a special focus on small SMEs and young innovators of our Data Economy. Our goal is to attract a critical mass of data owners and consumers on a cross-border and cross-domain setting, suitably adapt our value-added service monetization to ensure a low cost of participation and the platform’s profitability over a 5-year period. The production platform will be deployed on commercial low-cost EU-based cloud infrastructures, secured and hardened according to industry practices, and initialized with data assets. Finally, a joint new business venture will be established by the partners, focused on commercializing and sustainably operating the platform.

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