[geo-discuss] draft of open letter to MEPs

Rufus Pollock rufus.pollock at okfn.org
Mon Mar 13 09:00:07 UTC 2006

Schuyler Erle wrote:
> * On 12-Mar-2006 at  7:10AM PST, Rufus Pollock said:
>>I planned to just make a few edits but ultimately due to coupling I have 
>>ended up doing a complete rewrite :( which I insert below.
> Rufus, I like what you've written as it is "punchier" (to use Jo's
> word) than what's currently on http://publicgeodata.org/Open_Letter,
> but this paragraph is totally unconvincing:
>>A Directive establishing a framework for sharing geographic information 
>>that promoted open access would enhance economic competitiveness, social 
>>wellbeing, and collaboration between member states. It would strenghten 
>>civil society, create jobs and services and improve environmental and 
>>resource management. [ED note: could drop this para]
> Allow me to regurgitate a bit of text from the current page:
> [[
>   Though [INSPIRE] emphasises environmental information, the data sets
>   it covers are needed for to census, electoral, transport and utilities
>   purposes. Effective use of geographic information is a key to creating
>   more jobs, and more economic activity in Europe.
> ]]
> Far be it from me to remind an economist to state strongly the
> economic case for what we want here... :) But it *is* the one facet of
> this discussion that no one could possibly object to, like Mom or home
> cooking.

I agree that the para is weak and it also duplicates the previous one to 
some extent (hence the 'could drop this para'). The one problem with the 
substitution is that in the previous para we already have:

'This is an important issue as it is estimated that fully 80% of all 
information collected by government has a spatial component and 
geographic information is needed for environmental, census, and 
transport purposes among many others.'

I also would prefer to be more explicit about what 'effective use' 
means. As it stands the statement is undoubtedly correct but doesn't 
mean much since it is not clear what effective use entails. IMO 
effective use is only possible under open access and we should make that 

However this is probably all by the by as the quick fix that I would 
suggest is to simply dump the problem para (this will have the added 
benefit of making it shorter).



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