Open Data offers high potential for innovative applications and new insights for business, society, administration and science. In recent years, the German Federal government has taken various steps to advance its Open Data policies. Public authorities are already required to make a large amount of their data openly available. However, current rules include an number of exceptions. For example, authorities can apply for an exemption from the principle of making data available free of charge if they generate a significant part of their financial resources by selling that data. In particular, the land survey offices of some federal states in Germany make use of this exception. Thus, cadastral data are available for a fee in some federal states and are free of charge in others.
This Research Brief gives an overview of the open provision of cadastral data in Germany. It shows for each federal state, whether or not fees are charged, and outlines the technical means for publishing cadastral data. The potential of open cadastral data is illustrated by five examples of innovative applications that use such data. Finally, the Research Brief shows that this potential cannot yet be fully exploited in Germany. This is due to vast differences in data quality and scope, as well as differences in conditions of use, costs and data formats between the federal states.