Research group at imec & Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Research Result

Book on the challenges and opportunities of Open Data available

Based on the experiences from the Smart Flanders project, the research team published a short book that acts as an introduction to (linked) open data and a guide to working with open data from the perspective of local government. Some open challenges are identified and addressed and an “open data checklist” is proposed.

The book was co-authored by the interdisciplinary team of researchers involved in the Smart Flanders project from imec-SMIT (VUB), imec-mict (UGent) and imec-IDLab (UGent), joined by Nathalie Dumarey, responsible for Smart Cities in VVSG who wrote the introduction. It answers five questions related to open data in five chapters: – What are open data? – What can open data mean for government? – How do we publish open data and what are linked open data? – How do we make sure open data are enriched and reused? – Where do we want to go and what do we need? The final chapter offers a so-called open data checklist, which lists a number of aspects to take into account related to defining problems, capacity and organisational challenges in local administrations, governance, partnerships and risks. This list can be used as a way to frame a developing policy on open data and highlights which aspects need to be taken into account.

The book was written in the framework of the Smart Flanders project and aims to distribute some of the insights and lessons learned to a broader audience, such as policy makers, local administrations, government organisations and so on. Smart Flanders is funded by the Agency for Interior Policy and more information can be found on The physical book can be purchased at the link below and most of the content is available on