[geo-discuss] starting to draft email to signatories

Jo Walsh jo at frot.org
Thu Mar 30 21:58:14 UTC 2006

dear all,

Here's my attempt to sketch out what it is we want to say to
signatories - asking for testimonials, pointing them at who to contact
if they want to send letters. As usual i go on overlong and get immersed
in technical details, but this at least is something to tear apart...
dear [insert name],

Thanks so much for signing the Public Geodata petition in support of
open access to state-collected geographic information in Europe!

Over 3100 people have now signed in support, representing almost every
single European member state: http://petition.publicgeodata.org

We're writing to let you know:

 * What's happening with the INSPIRE Directive in the EU
 * How you can help out by:
   * Writing a Testimonial for Public Geodata
   * Writing to your MEP
   * Writing to your national Environment Department

= What's happening with INSPIRE =

On March 21st the Environment Committee in the European Parliament met
to vote on which amendments to the INSPIRE Directive get passed on to
a final vote in the European Parliament (likely to happen in June 2006)

The outcome of this was fairly positive; the Committee voted to reject
the amendments that would impede sharing of data due to "intellectual
property rights", and restore the public's right to "view" geodata
collected by state agencies. http://publicgeodata.org/Vote_in_Envi_060321

Over the coming months, there's going to be a lot of behind-the-scenes
lobbying, while the Council attempt to reinstate amendments to INSPIRE
that emphasise "intellectual property" and "cost recovery" over the
sharing and re-use of geographic information. 

The Council is made up of government Ministers from each European
country that have responsibility for environmental issues.

= How you can help =

== Write a testimonial / statement of support ==

Public Geodata is collecting testimonials that illustrate the benefits 
that open access to public geodata can provide.

If you are able to speak for your business or academic organisation,
please consider writing a testimonial for us! It only needs to be a
paragraph long. For more guidance on this, please see 
[example of swpat testimonial collections and how they worked?]

== Contact your MEP ==
MEPs vote through a lot of legislation which they don't have the time
to get background knowledge on. They hear a lot from the National
Mapping Agencies, and not much from the public. MEPs are often really
pleased to get correspondance from constituents!
http://publicgeodata.org/ContactYourMEP should help you find contact

== Contact your national Environment department ==

The Environment minister is responsible for bringing each member
state's policy decisions on access to geodata to the Council. 
[this needs to be filled in more, if we're going with this]
[this needs a sample letter based on the Open Letter to ENVI]

Thanks again for signing the petition!


Jo Walsh, Benjamin Henrion, on behalf of Public Geodata

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