Beyond open data - the rise of data sharing.
Open data is changing the world, but it's not just about open data anymore. Data sharing with various permission levels allow for greater problem-solving.

June 29, 2017


Cities and communities are increasingly using data and technology to enhance public security and resilience, allocate resources based on real-time evidence and turn operational data into valuable information, knowledge and insight. It is imperative that organisations help meet today’s and tomorrow’s challenges by making their data available, up-to-date and importantly reusable for a wide range of users, whatever their technical competency.

By unlocking data, businesses, government and citizens can work together to create more livable cities and drive change from the bottom up. Sharing and opening data is a transformative process both from an organisational as well as a citizen engagement point of view.

“Understanding and sharing data is a key challenge for 21st century organisations and citizens, as the amount of data grows exponentially and our time to find and access the correct information diminishes.”

— SImon Tricker, CDO, UrbanTide

USMART does Private Sharing

USMART makes it super simple for data owners to share data across a wide spectrum of data access levels: Closed > Specific Access > Group Access > Public Access > Open. 


The Data Spectrum - ODI

USMART supports five main levels of sharing:

  • Closed: Only members of the organisation have access.
  • Specific access: Specific access to specific datasets and API keys made available by the data owner to either named individuals or named organizations.
  • Group access: Members of the organisation plus selected other individuals have access based on predetermined criteria.
  • Public access: Restricted reuse of data, data is made available publically but only under certain terms and conditions that cannot be considered open eg: need to register to get access to a dataset.
  • Open data: Anyone has access and is free to reuse the data.

These access levels can be set per dataset and provide organisations with full control over how data is shared.

When is private data sharing important?

We’ve encountered several examples where private data sharing was required by our clients and a key solution for secure and efficient data sharing. In these cases, the data shared privately with partners and project collaborators was usually commercially or otherwise sensitive and thus wasn’t ready to be published as open data and shared with the wider public, for example:


And how important is data sharing really?

In a simple answer, very. UrbanTide is part of the Cities Standards Institute (CSI) that has developed and recently launched a new data sharing standard (BSI: PAS 183). This was done in anticipation of a paradigm shift towards data sharing and potential new commercial models. The framework sets out to help ensure that smart cities have the best overall data on which to base their decisions.

Below are the images of BSI PAS 183 - Data Framework and the BSI PAS 183 - Commercial opportunities for the data spectrum and here you can read more about standards related to data sharing and smart cities. 



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