[okfn-za] Geological Data

Adi Eyal adi at code4sa.org
Thu Feb 13 15:26:47 UTC 2014

Hi Martin

PAIA certainly covers this data. Your request may be rejected on
anyone of the frivolous grounds that are usually given for refusal,
but it's worth a try. In general PAIA is a frustrating process -
despite the fact that it is easy to submit a request, government
departments often spend a lot of effort trying to reject them. In
summary, if it is possible to get the data in any other way, I suggest
you go that route. PAIA is really a last resort.

The question of copyright is now relevant. What rights are granted to
you when you get the data? I am not a lawyer but reading through the
copyright act, it seems that there are many cases where copyright
claims are indefensible (e.g. the elections data from the IEC).
Personally, I would just use the data and wait for a take-down notice
(but I'm a little bullish).

Hope that's useful

On 12 February 2014 16:59,  <mtb at martinb.za.net> wrote:
> Hi Greg,
> Thanks for the suggestions. I have a couple of queries though:
> Would the PAIA actually cover this though? I mean, essentially, I want
> vector (shapefiles preferably, or at least something that can be turned into
> such) of everything that they have (or can have) on their printed maps. The
> data must already be available in this sort of format, since it gets used in
> books and such (like _Geological Journeys_ which thanks the CGS for
> preparing the maps) as well as their maps.
> I put a rewritten version my initial e-mail here
> http://blog.martinb.za.net/2014/open-south-african-geological-data/ which is
> much clearer about what I am asking.
> I can certainly file a PAIA, but does it cover the sort of information that
> I want, and can I do anything with the information I get? So if I send them
> a request for say, the shapefiles showing the extent of the formations
> making up the Karoo Supergroup in KwaZulu-Natal and any mines in it, and
> they give it to me, am I allowed to use that more freely than their license
> agreement?
> And yes, I have no problems paying for printed maps, or if I want something
> unusual that is not already made or readily available that they need to run
> a special query for, or something along those lines. But the data I am
> thinking of trying to liberate all appears to exist digitally already.
> Further, the CGS, as far as I can tell, is a state entity.
> The other issue is that the printed maps are often old (lots of data is from
> the 1980s), and geological knowledge changes and becomes refined. So if they
> have more up-to-date information, that would be nice to have....
> Thoughts?
> mtb
> On 12.02.2014 08:53, Greg Kempe wrote:
>> Hi Martin,
>> I can understand them charging fees for printed maps (since each item
>> is not cheap to produce), but I agree that the actual data should be
>> more freely available in digital form.
>> My suggestion would be to file a PAIA request for a subset of the
>> data you're looking for and see what happens.
>> The Human Rights Commission has lots of information on the PAIA
>>  http://www.sahrc.org.za/home/index.php?ipkContentID=25&ipkMenuID=45 and
>> the Council for Geoscience lists all their contact points
>> at
>> http://www.geoscience.org.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1578&Itemid=153.
>> Cheers,
>> Greg
>> --
>> Greg Kempe
>> p +27 (0)78 246 1116
>> w  kempe.net
>> t  @longhotsummer
>> On 06 February 2014 at 12:47:21 PM, mtb at martinb.za.net
>> (mtb at martinb.za.net) wrote:
>> Hi All,
>> I have a vested interest in being able to use geological data freely,
>> specifically, the boundaries between different rock units as found on
>> geological maps.
>> While data is available, much of it is at too high a scale to be very
>> useful for looking at specific sites. (That and the link to the 1:250
>> 000 scale maps is broken off this page:
>> http://www.geoscience.org.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=203:data-sales&catid=46&Itemid=176
>> )
>> The people responsible for this in South Africa are the Council for
>> Geoscience. Their licensing is incredibly restrictive:
>> http://www.geoscience.org.za/content/SDMLicense.pdf
>> How does this gel with the Freedom of Information act? I note that
>> other spatial information seems to be freely available, so why is the
>> geological data locked up to this extent?
>> This looks like stuff that we should be able to freely access, since it
>> contains information on mines and mineral claims and so on:
>> http://www.geoscience.org.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=206:spatially-referenced-attribute-data&catid=46&Itemid=176
>> I can not see how to get significant amounts of this without quite a
>> heavy financial outlay.
>> This is the sort of thing that should be possible, but why only a cd
>> and not online:
>> http://www.geoscience.org.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=453&Itemid=292
>> Has anyone dealt with the CGS? I do not really see a way forward on
>> this, but have no real background in the subject.
>> Martin
>> _______________________________________________
>> okfn-za mailing list
>> okfn-za at lists.okfn.org
>> https://lists.okfn.org/mailman/listinfo/okfn-za
>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.okfn.org/mailman/options/okfn-za
> _______________________________________________
> okfn-za mailing list
> okfn-za at lists.okfn.org
> https://lists.okfn.org/mailman/listinfo/okfn-za
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.okfn.org/mailman/options/okfn-za

Adi Eyal
Code for South Africa
Promoting informed decision-making

phone: +27 78 014 2469
skype: adieyalcas
linkedin: http://za.linkedin.com/pub/dir/Adi/Eyal
web: http://www.code4sa.org
twitter: @soapsudtycoon

For more information on how to participate in the open data community
in South Africa, go to: http://www.code4sa.org/#community

More information about the okfn-za mailing list