New Zealand Local and Central Government agencies are doing a great job at providing free public access to the data they collect and create. For example, The Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) Data Service (LDS) https://data.linz.govt.nz/ has over 1800 datasets available for free download in various geospatial formats. Yet mapping companies are still producing datasets and selling them for money. Are these companies just duplicating the efforts of these agencies or, worse still are they just freeloading and re-packaging freely available government data for profit without adding any value?
This blog explores what value private sector mapping companies add to public data and why they do it. Specifically I would like to explore road centrelines and answer the question: “Why would I want to pay for road centrelines when I can download them free from the LDS?”