Our company runs a business similar to Yelp but limited to a regional area. Currently we are thinking of licencing our Point of Interest database under a free licence.

Of course that would mean that our competitors can take all our POI data and put it in their database. But we do not see this as a big problem, because they can do it (illegaly) also by crawling our website.

What are our expectations? Mainly a higher motivation for the user to contribute information and a improved image.

Do you see any other advantages or disadvantages?

edit: Thank you very much for your answers. Unfortunatly it was decided not to open the data.

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    I'd encourage the idea, but there are pros-n-cons. The more easy you make it for people to contribute, the greater amount of spam attempts will occur - particularly considering the spammers know you are exporting the dataset! If you want some specific (free) advice, just contact us at opengeocode.org Jun 11, 2014 at 23:17

3 Answers 3


Quick answer with what comes to my mind. They might be several others.


  • Since you lower the barrier to access the data (no more scraping), you will see more people using it and new usage of your data will appear
  • You will also receive feedback regarding your data quality (since there is more eyes looking at it under different angles)
  • This can be a marketing opportunity to introduce your company to new audience via partner website and application (I used your data on my website / application in return I mention you as the source)


  • A competitor can reused those data and present it in a more user friendly was, with nice functionality and get straight after your current business.
  • Depending on the format used someone can reverse ingeneer your internal process / data structure and reuse it on a different market.

I think the next question you will need to asnwer is the license and release format (API, csv or database dump ...). Those can be different questions on OpenData SE)


yes. the less barriers to accessibility, the easier it is to be consumed. the same principle applies to content.


I think the world is moving towards open data, the sooner you get on the wagon the better. If someone needs your data they're going to use 1001 trick to get it and if you want to stop them you'd probably end up in a legal battle where only the lawyers win!

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