[OSGeo-Discuss] Advocating Reasonable Public Access to Publicly Funded Geospatial Data

Landon Blake lblake at ksninc.com
Mon Nov 12 13:25:59 PST 2007

Is there any effort at the OSGeo to advocate for "reasonable" access to
publicly funded geospatial data? By reasonable I mean:


[1] With an affordable price reflecting the actual cost to reproduce the

[2] Released in a format that doesn't require expensive proprietary


For example, the United States Forest Service has some extensive
geospatial data sets available to the public, but they release it in
ESRI Geodatabase Format. (They didn't respond to my requests for the
data in Shapefile Format.) Another example is one of my local counties,
which sells data in ESRI Shapefile format for $200 a layer under a very
strict license agreement. 


I was wondering if there was any type of "committee" or other organized
effort at the OSGeo that provided "education" and advocacy for
reasonable access to publicly funded data. It seems like a natural fit
for the organization, and one great way to enable everyday use of open
source GIS programs. (At a minimum, it seems like we could keep a
catalog of public agencies and there policy for the release of
geospatial data.)




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