A Practical City Guide to Mobility Data Licensing is a short online article providing guidance, from a public agencies’ perspective, on drafting data sharing agreements.

The article 1 provides guidance, from a public agency’s perspective, on drafting data sharing agreements. Topics covered include types of licenses, considerations regarding the right to further share data, and integration with data from other sources. The author is the former Chief Information Officer for the City of Boston and is currently the Executive Director of the Open Mobility Foundation.

The document does not provide specific language for agreements, but rather, it provides specific recommendations on what should be considered for inclusion in any agreement, as well as what should be avoided, presented on a topic-by-topic basis. 

It is an excellent resource for identifying what public agencies should and should not include when drafting, reviewing, or entering into any sort of shared mobility data sharing agreement with private sector mobility providers, as well as why each is important. 

The recommendations are divided into three major parts, each of which includes several focus areas. The article discusses the various types of licenses and recommends that data sharing agreements should be either embedded in permit agreements or incorporated by reference. It also recommends the use of a standard agreement with all providers, rather than negotiating different agreements with each provider. Other topics discussed include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Rights of use
  • Access to raw vs. pre-aggregated data
    • Ability to share data with other public agencies, third party data management organizations, and the public
  • Integration with other data sets
  • Requirements on the public agency to adequately protect the data
  • Privacy protection
  • Relations of the data to state level Freedom of Information laws
  • Liability issues

An updated guide 2 was also written by Chu and Zack in August 2019. This updated guide is a short online article providing additional thoughts and insights on data sharing agreements, authored by executives at a company providing transportation software and data management tools and services.