[Fsf-friends] Open Access to Maps and Public Geo-Data

Shekhar Krishnan shekhar@crit.org.in
Mon Aug 22 15:56:09 IST 2005

Dear All:

:: apologies for cross-posting ::

In the wake of the massive floods since 26 July in Mumbai and  
Maharashtra, a crisis of civic infrastructure and public health has  
emerged in the city and state, in which the right of citizens to  
information about their environments is of crucial public importance.

Very few citizens of India enjoy open access to maps, satellite  
imagery, and other geographic information. Collected and brokered by  
national mapping and space imaging agencies, this geo-data is an  
essential for understanding civic issues such as planning, housing,  

Open access to this information can provide a platform for public  
action, reducing costs and promoting innovation by facilitating  
citizens' engagement with their local environments and authorities.  
The Open Knowledge Foundation is hosting a forum at http://okfn.org/ 
geo/manifesto.php about Open Access to State-Collected Geo-Spatial Data.

* All government-collected maps, geographic information and spatial  
data are public property, and should be open; that is, available for  
free distribution and re-use under a share-alike license.

* Online mapping projects creating freely re-usable geo-data should  
offer a compatible open license.

* Common, standard formats for describing and exchanging geo-data  
should be adopted internationally.

* Ultimately, all state-collected information should be freely  
available in the public domain, in a structured machine-readable  
format and in an open standard.

Please read the manifesto and, if you agree with the statements it  
contains, sign up to support it at http://okfn.org/geo/ 

For more information on the changing policies on maps and geo-data in  
India, see the 19 May 2005 release of the Press Information Bureau of  
the Government of India on http://pib.nic.in/release/release.asp? 


CRIT (Collective Research Initiatives Trust)
B-43, Shravasti
Goregaon-Malad Link Road
Malad (West), Mumbai 400064


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