In our society there is nothing new about the demand that ideas, knowledge, information and data should be freely accessible to the public.
It is important to recognize that the Open Data movement is the result of several social discourses in which interest groups with different goals are involved. It is a global phenomenon, fostered by digital networking and international cooperation. In different countries, regions and branches, however, the framework conditions under which the idea of Open Data is implemented differ. The following lessons therefore concentrate on open data in German-speaking countries (especially D-A-CH-LI) and their relevance for spatial research and study programmes.