The SmartOpenData project brought together public sector bodies concerned with environmental issues as well as researchers and SMEs that can broadly be categorised as being from either the geospatial or Linked Data communities. Many partners had not worked together before and so one challenge faced was related to internal dissemination. The graphic presented by Frans Knibbe of Geodan at the project's Linking Geospatial Data workshop in March 2014 (Mrs Globe and Mr Cube) effectively summarises this difference in world views.
The division proved to be very real in the early stages of the project, however, it has long been overcome and many partners are now working towards future collaborations. Externally, the pilots have provided opportunities for data holders and data users to work together, thus disseminating project results and, more importantly, a shared understanding of the issues and opportunities. An obvious manifestation of this coming together is that SmartOpenData led directly to the formation of the Spatial Data on the Web Working Group, collaboration between OGC and W3C that is attracting significant attention from around the world.
These direct interactions between partners, inside and outside the project, are augmented by the usual online activities including the project website, LinkedIn group, Twitter feed and a long list of workshops and conferences at which SmartOpenData has been highlighted.