Fixing the GIS Data Mess

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Jonathan Feldman of InformationWeek weighs in the on the debate about opening up GIS data and creating a uniform standard for data sharing and access in his article “How to Fix the GIS Data Mess“.  In it, Feldman lays blame with the federal government, writing, According to an article by Dr. Christopher Tucker of the US Geospatial Intelligence Foundation, the problem started in President Nixon’s era, when Nixon failed to approve a proposed agency to centrally coordinate mapping and other tasks that we’d classify as GIS nowadays.” Feldman reviews areas of deficiency from local and state governments to academia.  Ironically, in his brief discussion about the role of private enterprise, he cites Google’s restrictive licensing as a barrier, stating Local governments are not going to sign off on those terms. Their taxpayers bought and paid for the content that you’ve included in your service. It wouldn’t be responsible to acknowledge and agree that the content belongs to Google.” Yet, local data in the form of parcels has recently found its way into Google’s mapping services.   Feldman wraps up his article with a shortlist of needed policies and technical requirements.  Throughout the article no discussion or even mention of existing efforts at data consolidation or GIS data standards was mentioned.


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