[geo-discuss] Affect of geodata costs on GIS software development
rufus.pollock at okfn.org
Mon Sep 19 12:10:21 UTC 2005
Received this interesting snippet of info from Roger Longhorn that I
thought would be of interest:
I'm not sure if you saw it, but there was also a statement from Roger
Tomlinson (who many still consider to be the father of GIS) in an
interview in Geoconnexion International April 2005 (p. 55-57) with Jeff
Thurston (editor), which goes (quote):
Thurston: What are the issues for the British Ordnance Survey then?
The problem relates to the past. OS was the centre for mapping but
initially they were appalling at digital mapping. When Margaret Thatcher
became Prime Minister, she initiated cost recovery policies that
affected the OS. This led to higher data costs at a time when GIS was
just beginning to take off. This put a dead hand on software development
in the UK. The U.S. on the other hand supported development and
inexpensive reproduction of geographic information.
Canada regrettably took cues from the U.K. and this led to things like
paying €11,000 for a digital 1:50000 map. Now there is great pressure to
reduce charges in Canada. There are however very few companies
developing GIS software in Canada currently.
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