Components Supporting the Open Data Exploitation
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Christopher Luton

Christopher Luton

  • What is your position and mission in your institution?

I am a Head of Intellectual Property & Legal services at the British Geological Survey (UK). I specialise in intellectual property management, including patents, copyright and data access. Mainly I provide guidance on information management of environmental data – transparency agenda, INSPIRE, etc.

  • What are the current Open data activities you & your organization is working on?

My organisation, as part of the Natural Environment Research Council, is committed to follow Government policy on Open access. We have a lot of data already on We are also committed to making more and more data available. Our website has a whole area “OpenGeoscience” devoted to open data.

  • How Comsode project helped you (or could help you) to develop these activities?

Any support COMSODE can provide to our IT experts on ODN – would be helpful. In particular I have an interest in “view-only” concepts – where we allow customers to view valuable data as view-only. This means they cannot copy it or use it. But it does mean they have access to it – which meets our requirements under the Environmental Information Regs.

  • What was the most inspiring part of Comsode project for you?

The most inspiring part was getting bodies to understand that open data was not so bad after all – and by making it open – it was not a big loss for them.

  • Do you have any recommendations for Comsode project?

I think what could be good for COMSODE is to work on universal/standard formats for data and acquisitions. Also to understand that Open Data can also mean “restricted” open data – so you can view, but may not be able to use the data without a proper licence. In particular this might relate to very sensitive data or data where suppliers need confidence the data will not be misused, etc.


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