Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Landmark Nederland: Environmental risks dataset

The country’s supplier of land and property search information, Landmark Nederland, has taken a significant step forward in helping to make public sector information more accessible to both public and commercial users following a three year campaign. Landmark is the first organisation in The Netherlands to have brought together a national dataset of environmental risks such as contaminated land from a range of sources including Dutch council records. This data is used to create a portfolio of products including Milieuscan environmental reports for home buyers, which sell via estate agency brokers.

The Milieuscan reports were launched in 2006 with the co-operation of national and local authorities providing supporting data for environmental search purposes. However, the City of Amsterdam sought substantial compensation for supplying the data and also wanted to limit its reuse, arguing a substantial investment had been made in compiling the original dataset. However, after three years of legal hearings, the Dutch Raad van State, the highest Administrative Court in the Netherlands, ruled that the City of Amsterdam does not bear the risk of investment in the database as this has to be provided and funded anyway as part of the City's public task. Consequently, the City is not entitled to attach excessive financial conditions and limitations to the reuse of the data by Landmark.


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