Tag Archive | Access

Pakistan Mapping Bill To Regulate Amateur Mapping

Stopping unlawful mapping activities: MoD asks government to frame law

by Mushtaq Ghuman, Business Recorder, January 04, 2012

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has suggested to the government to frame a law aimed at stopping unlawful activities related to mapping firms, given that several western countries, including Australia, China, India, Turkey, USA and UK, have enacted supportive laws, official sources told Business Recorder. … According to the MoD, rapid developments in the fields of surveying and mapping, especially computer-aided cartography, availability of satellite imagery and satellite-based ‘Global Position System’ (GPS) has greatly facilitated the art of map making. Resultantly, a number of firms have engaged themselves in mapping activities. …”If mushroom growth of such firms is not checked instantly, it would be a potential threat of high security risk, on the one hand, and decline of accurate mapping within the country, on the other,” sources quoted MoD as writing to the government. …

For full text of the article, visit Stopping unlawful mapping activities: MoD asks government to frame law | Business Recorder.

Testimony Before the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics of the Canadian Parliament

Testimony Before the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics of the Canadian Parliament



MARCH 2, 2011

[This is the version as delivered.]

Chairman Murphy and Members of the Committee:

Thank you for the honor of appearing before you today.

By way of background, I served for two years as the United States Deputy Chief Technology Officer for Open Government and led the White House Open Government Initiative. I am also a law professor at New York Law School where my research focuses on the impact of new technology on legal and political institutions.

You have asked me to join you today to reflect about the meaning and value of open government and to share some insights about creating an open government culture in practice. The views represented in this testimony are entirely my own and are not intended to represent official United States government positions. …

For full text of this testimony, visit Beth Novek’s blog: Cairns Blog: Testimony Before the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics of the Canadian Parliament.

NSGIC Issues Best Practices for Government Data Sharing

The National States Geographic Information Council (NSGIC) recently issued a 4-page recommendation of best practices for data distribution policy of government agencies. This guideline document articulates NSGIC’s core principle that “Access to public records is an essential component of our democracy that keeps citizens in-formed and our government accountable. These records include geospatial data produced or maintained using taxpayer resources.” It concludes with the recommendation that “calls on government administrators, geospatial professionals and concerned citizens to further advance the use of important geospatial data assets and to ensure that they remain freely accessible.” You can download NSGIC’s recommendations from NSGIC Data Sharing Guidelines.

Data Access and Privacy Issues Related to Smart Grid Technologies



Department of Energy, October 5, 2010

This section summarizes and records DOE‘s impressions of the results of its efforts to collect and analyze diverse perspectives on the current state of data security and consumer access and privacy issues associated with the ongoing development and deployment of ―Smart Grid technologies. In so doing, it provides federal, state and local policymakers, as well as utilities and third-party providers of energy management services, with a concise, broad overview of the current state of ongoing efforts to assess the legal and regulatory implications of the data-security and data-privacy issues that were identified during a public information-gathering process conducted by DOE in the spring and summer of 2010. In this document, DOE attempts to provide a measure of certainty for all Smart Grid participants on issues where there is consensus, as well as highlight the pros and cons of various approaches where debate still exists.
DOE stresses the intended audience and the legal and regulatory focus of this report because efforts to encourage the deployment of Smart Grid technologies will depend significantly upon two factors.  First, the success of such efforts depends upon the development of legal and regulatory regimes that respect consumer privacy, promote consumer access to and choice regarding third-party use of their energy data, and secure potentially sensitive data to increase consumer acceptance of Smart Grid.  Second, the success of such efforts also depends upon the development of appropriate technical standards and protocols for promoting privacy, choice, and the secure, interoperable transfer and maintenance of sensitive data. 
 This report focuses on the first of these challenges. Federal efforts to investigate the second set of technical issues and promote the development of standards for addressing them are also underway. Those seeking analyses of the technical issues should consult publications like the  Guidelines for Smart Grid Cyber Security: Vol. 2, Privacy and the Smart Grid, released by the National Institute of Standards and Technology in August 2010.
For full text of the report, click here.
For a related posting on the  Geodata Policy blog, click here.


Google Rolls Out Public Data Search Tool


By Kim Hart, Washington Post, Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Google launched a new search tool yesterday designed to help Web users find public data that is often buried in hard-to-navigate government Web sites. The tool, called Google Public Data, is the latest in the company’s efforts to make information from federal, state and local governments accessible to citizens. … The company plans to initially make available U.S. population and unemployment data from the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, respectively. Other data sets, such as emissions statistics from the Environmental Protection Agency, will roll out in the coming months. …
For full text of the article, visit:

Articles on Spatial Data Infrastructures

A. J. Wortley of the Wisconsin State Cartographer’s Office passed along the following through the Weary Mappers listsev (February 19, 2008):


For a very interesting critical analysis of the the SDI movement, visit the following posting by Paul Ramsey on his “Clever Elephant Blog”:

Read More…

Presidential Candidates’ Technology Positions Address Government Data, Access and Location Privacy


Barack Obama’s Technology Position

In his Technology position, U.S. Presidential candidate Barack Obama comments on need to ensure an open Internet and on the importance of creating a transparent and connected democracy. This includes:

Making goverment data available online in universally accessible formats to allow citizens to make use of that data to comment, derive value, and take action in their own communities. Greater access to environmental data, for example, will help citizens learn about pollution in their communities, provide information about local conditions back to government and empower people to protect themselves.

Establishing pilot programs to open up government ecision-making and involve the public in the work of agencies, not simply by soliciting opinions, but by tapping into the vast and distributed expertise of American citizenry to help goverment make more informated decisions.

Interactive, dynamic web-mapping anyone? Looks like a great opportunity for those in the field of participatory mapping and public participation GIS (PPGIS)!

Obama also commented on the need to protect our privacy in an age of increased computing power, decreased storage costs, and huge flows of information. Obama supports updating surveillance laws, and notably remarks on the need to protect our location privacy.

Obama will also work to provide robust protection against misuses of particularly sensitive kinds of information, such as e-health records and location data that do not fit comfortably within sector-specific privacy laws.

John McCain’s Technology Position

U.S. Presidential candidate John McCain’s Technology Position emphasizes the need to encourage investment in technological innovation, to improve high-speed Internet access for under-served communities, to ensure an educated workforce in science and technology – in which we’re lagging behind China and India, and to keep the Internet free from unnecessary goverment regulation.

McCain’s Personal Security and Privacy Position comments on the role of government and industry in protecting citizens’ personal security and privacy:

Government — Government must promote a culture of personal security through consumer education initiatives, incentives for the development of secure technologies, and stronger enforcement of laws to protect our citizens, particularly children.

Industry — American industry must continue to lead the world in the development of more secure technologies and responses to new threats. Among other things, industry must exert appropriate efforts to protect sensitive personal information and prevent unintentional loss or theft. Industry also must pursue effective self-regulation and continue informing and educating consumers about the collection and use of personal information.

Report on Presidential Science Advice

Also worth looking at is a new report on Presidential Science Advice, published by the Center for the Study of the Presidency, Study Group on Presidential Science and Technology Personnel and Advisory Assets.

The Center for the Study of the Presidency has completed its report Presidential Leadership to Ensure Science and Technology in the Service of National Needs: A Report to the 2008 Candidates. The report contains a number of recommendations intended to be seriously considered by the presidential candidates’ staffs before and during transition planning, in order to strengthen the S&T advice provided to the President and federal agencies.

Source: AAAS Policy Alert, August 20, 2008



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