[geo-discuss] Re: Open Source geo data

Daniel daniel.faivre at camptocamp.com
Wed Mar 22 10:02:37 UTC 2006

One very important point above: producing gree geodata is the first 
step, before licensing issues. Nevertheless, OSGEO and others structures 
may help the development of free geodata by several means: a large 
communication is required in every way.

On one hand, sites like openstreetmap and geowikis initiatives are goods 
assets. Such applications will grow with new kind of geographic data 
(social data, cultural ones, etc.), which are not produced by 
governmental mapping agencies.

On the other hand, states are not the main producers of geodata: local 
authorities are bigger geodata producers. Some local authorities would 
to release data freely. But they need a legal security.

The worst thing we can do is to waste our forces on licensing argues, or 
either to do nothing. The best we can do may be to relay information 
about licenses, to keep on wikis like the OSGEO one's as much 
information about licensing we can, and to continue the job for offering 
online resources on licensing issues for free geodata.

This way, with the minimum of our time, we could both help the worlwide 
communities by our licensing experiences, and keep the most part of our 
time to help massive-cooperative GIS and frameworks to grow up enough.



Saul Albert a écrit :

>On Mon, Mar 20, 2006 at 10:01:35PM -0800, Jo Walsh wrote:
>>dear David, Frank, all,
>>On Mon, Mar 20, 2006 at 10:19:12AM -0500, Frank Warmerdam wrote:
>>>>I'm still working through a discussion paper on Open Source geospatial 
>>I'm glad to hear of papers being written on what seems like a pressing
>>and topical subject, and i would look forward to seeing your when it is
>>written, if it's going to be publically available.
>Jo - thanks for that rundown - it's a really wonderful thing to see that
>knowledge of current lisencing debates presented like that. It would make
>a really good wiki page... but where to put it!? Openstreetmap's wiki?
>Publicgeodata.org's wiki? Both!? You should braindump as much as
>possible.. on the weekend I'll try take some of them and wikiize them...
>I just wanted to pose a quick point/question - based on what I know about
>geodata lisencing discussions and having spoken to Volker Grassmuck on
>the Wizards of OS mailing list about it recently... He reckons that Free
>Geodata is 'so hot right now' :-/ and I can see these lisencing issues
>recurring in widening circles around the key issue of access to public
>data.. the wider they get, the harder it is to see the impact and issues.
>What I thought worked really well about WSFII.org was that lisencing
>didn't come up as a discussion point so much. It's true that it's
>necessary to lisence the data and the software to protect the labour of
>free geodata enthusiasts, governments and companies from enclosure and
>exploitation (although I don't necessarily mind the exploitation as long
>as it's not exclusive)... However, the pragmatic attitude says that if it
>works, if it's fast and good, if the data is accurate, and if the re-use
>conditions of your data are non-exclusive in a commercial, personal,
>governmental context.. free geodata will triumph. That's why
>openstreetmap.org doesn't take the lisencing debate that seriously at
>this point - because getting a working system together is more important.
>Maybe free geodata will work because you'll be able to use it for GIS &
>analysis/cross-reference with other data sets..rather than just plotting
>points on Euclidean space with google's 'open' API. Isn't that the key
>Maybe I'm re-iterating what's been said on this list and others in the
>past, but I'd be interested in hearing what others think about the
>necessity (or lack thereof) for a public geodata lisence at this point.
>Imho, public domain is the only way to go because what's at stake -
>politically, economically.. with the potential enclosure of geodata
>resources.. is more worrying than the potential exploitation of people's
>freely given labour by profit-making companies.
>I'm basing my observations on Rob Myer's point that free lisences are
>more like labour unions or guilds than like lisences - protecting our
>labour against enclosure or exclusive exploitation.. Public domain does
>this. CC-SA-NC also do this to some extent, but lock the economy and
>generation of the data and software into somwhat autopoietic state of
>I'd rather use www.copycan.org than bsd or pd... because in a lot of
>ways, the most unhelpful thing I find I can do with copyright law is take
>it seriously.
>geo-discuss mailing list
>geo-discuss at lists.okfn.org

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