[Fsf-friends] Open Access to Maps and Public Geo-Data
Mon Aug 22 15:56:09 IST 2005
:: 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)
Goregaon-Malad Link Road
Malad (West), Mumbai 400064
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