[geo-discuss] Fw: Re: Fw: INSPIRE Democratic Process 1/2006

Jo Walsh jo at frot.org
Wed Jan 25 14:05:46 UTC 2006

dear Mikel, thanks for this,
On Wed, Jan 25, 2006 at 03:30:46AM -0800, Mikel Maron wrote:
> I had an very interesting discussion the other week, with someone
> who's worked closely with, but relatively neutral to, the Commission
> and various National Mapping Agencies.
> I raised the concerns discussed here and by Chris Corbin's diligent
> communication; The legislative process has been far from
> transparent [...]
> He felt that in practical terms, this was unlikely. National
> governments are committed to the spirit of open and free access to
> geodata. Their main concern is not costs, but security.

Wow, security through obscurity still living and well in some quarters. 
This does look like a key point that should be addressed in a response
to the issues. I found some texts relevant to this back in 2004:
[[ RAND researchers also found no publicly accessible federal
geospatial information deemed critical to meeting attackers'
information needs. ]] and the classic

('grep mbox foo' is my friend, but i wish i had a better way of
searching my mail archives)

> There is another piece of legislation, or perhaps a treaty, among countries containing watersheds of the Danube and Rhine, covering a number facets including environment, commerce, and mapping. (Sorry, I don't recall the name of this agreement -- any ideas? Maybe related to http://europeandcis.undp.org/WaterWiki/index.php/Convention_on_the_Protection_and_Use_of_Transboundary_Watercourses_and_International_Lakes). Apparently, a portion of the treaty says that each country must publicly share it's mapping data, in a common specification. This may only apply to areas adjacent to the rivers, but perhaps will form the basis of further public disclosure as stipulated by Inspire.

I bet the Aarhus treaty that touches on environmental data is also very 
connected; and don't its requirements also trump some of INSPIRE's?
> In any case, assurances that INSPIRE is not really a problem is not
> enough, and actions to increase pressure for open public geo data
> and open governmental processes are definitely needed. It would be
> especially interesting to hear perspectives directly from the NMAs.

Definitely. I guess one thing worth putting on a working wiki, is
contact details for NMA representatives across Europe who would be
prepared to offer their perspectives. I am hoping to work with
Benjamin on getting a dedicated space for writing collation, and
bootstrapping a petition, set up on the OKFN system over the coming
days, maybe just at http://okfn.org/geo/ , though a dedicated domain
name could be good (but what would it be called? i am no good at
naming things, at all) 

Incidentally, i had a rant recently on the long-neglected "mapping
hacks" blog about the implications of spatial data access and remote
sensing for "digital rights managment" in the context of security
policies of different natures, and the Ordnance Survey's effort to 
lead a GeoDRM working group in the Open Geospatial Consortium:


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