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The Open Data Law of 4th May 2016 states that data reuse-type licences are defined by royal decree and that, "if for legal, technical or other well-founded reasons, the use of licence types is not possible, specific licences must be imposed".

We believe that the re-use of the timetable data we provide must be associated with guarantees that require a specific licence preventing the redistribution of raw data and imposing guidelines on its re-use. It is a royalty-free licence.

The grounds on which the choice of licence is based are as follows:

  • Quality and responsibility concerns:

We would like to ensure a minimum quality of the data in order to avoid fraud and the abuse of compensation systems. It is also important to note that, in the eyes of the public, we are responsible for resolving any issues arising from the timetable data. Furthermore, the processing of raw data by persons with no experience in the transport industry may result in interpretations that do not necessarily reflect reality or the context from which the data is taken. Erroneous interpretations of timetable data could be harmful to our reputation.

By prohibiting the redistribution of raw data, we are ensuring that we are aware of all sources of structured data made available to the public, and we can implement the necessary controls and provide adequate responses to any questions we are asked. By being aware of all persons or entities who have access to the raw data, we are able to ensure that the data is re-used in an honest and responsible way.

However, we would like to permit the development of APIs that are based on this raw data.

  • IT security concerns:

The stakes of the IT security of the timetable data are measured in terms of the particularly large impact an IT system failure may have on any persons or entities using timetable information via Open Data servers. Such a failure may occur as the result of the incorrect use (whether intentional or not) of the service, or during a railway crisis event resulting in mass solicitations and an increased load on the IT servers.

By imposing guidelines on the way in which data is re-used (good practices linked to the GTFS format) and by monitoring use made by persons who request the re-use, we would like to maximise the reliability and availability of all timetable data.

  • Service maintenance concerns:

By knowing the identities of those accessing our data, we ensure we are able to inform them about any planned service interventions or changes to the service.

The SNCB Customer Service is happy to help you by phone, every day from 7am to 9.30pm on 02 528 28 28.