What is free data
Free geospatial data and free software
We don't work exclusively, but we prefer to work with free geospatial data. In this context, "free" does not primarily mean that the data are available free of charge, but primarily means the absence of licensing problems.
The idea of free data - and free software - certainly has an ideological appeal, a political component. Free data inspires creativity and innovation; it enables a large number of people to participate in the design process. When dealing with it on a daily basis, however, the focus is on very tangible, pragmatic advantages: If data, format specifications and software are open to everyone, if worldwide communities work with the data, then many problems have already been solved by someone somewhere, and the solution can be found. The know-how is not a well-kept company secret. We benefit from this in our work, and vice versa, our results also flow back into the large pool. This not only requires fairness, it also makes economic sense, because the products of our work are critically examined and improved by others.
For you as our customer, the use of free data means above all that you hardly have to accept any licensing restrictions. In particular, the data that we produce or process for you can, as a rule, be further disseminated without any restrictions. For example, if you want to allow your users to download maps, you can do so easily - without a special web license, at no additional cost. You don't even have to keep a log of the number of times you deliver anything to anyone. The elimination of these license concerns saves money and nerves.
Most of the data we use is under so-called "Share-Alike" licenses. This gives rise to a single condition for use: You must not deprive the data of their freedom. You can do what you want with it, but if you pass on the data, then you must not prevent the recipient from further processing or disseminating the data at their own discretion. This regulation is not a restriction for most applications.
If you have any questions about this type of licensing and would like to know whether and how you can use free data for your specific application, then write to us!
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