by Frank Konkel, FCW, March 17, 2014
And as mapping technology advances, it allows for far more than foolproof directions. Federal agencies now use geospatial data, geo-analytics and multi-layered maps for myriad purposes, including gathering intelligence, predicting disease outbreaks and sharing data pools with the public.
For full text of the article, please click here.
Summary:Non-government organization NGO activity in developing countries is difficult to track due to limited infrastructure. URISA’s GISCorps, which coordinates short-term, volunteer-based GIS services to underprivileged communities, was asked to assist the Craig Bellamy Foundation in creating an interactive map showing the locations of international and national NGO offices and their programs in Sierra Leon, a developing country in Western Africa. Michael Knapp, a GIS specialist from Anchorage, Alaska, describes how a combination of Esri and Google technology accomplished the task.
For full text of the article, visit Project Report for GISCorps: Geocoding Locations of NGOs in Sierra Leone – Directions Magazine.
By Bruce Joffe, Cadalyst, February 8, 2012
After nearly three years of legal wrangling, the Sierra Club and Orange County are now facing off in the California Supreme Court. The issue that brought the two organizations into conflict is one of great importance to GIS professionals and non-users alike: public access to government databases. After the California First Amendment Coalition won a California Public Records Act (PRA) lawsuit against Santa Clara County, in April 2009, Sierra Club filed a similar suit against Orange County. Sierra Club needed Orange County’s parcel basemap in the GIS-compatible database format, but couldn’t afford to pay the price Orange County was charging — $475,000 — and didn’t believe that the County had the right to charge more than the cost of duplication, as prescribed under the PRA. Orange County defended its data sales policy with the so-called “software exemption” of the PRA, which states that government agencies do not have to provide software for the cost of duplication, as they do for the data that they use to make public decisions. … Sierra Club appealed the case, but the 4th District Court of Appeal affirmed the decision in support of Orange County. The County’s logic was that GIS includes software and data (citing ESRI’s definition of GIS as “a collection of software and data”), the County’s landbase is a GIS, GIS is a type of computer mapping system, and CMS is excluded by PRA section 6254.9; therefore, the County’s GIS landbase data is excluded….
Read more about this important debate. For the full text of the article, visit Does Government GIS Data Belong to the People? | Cadalyst.
- From Public Records to Open Government: Access to Massachusetts Municipal Geographic Data (geodatapolicy.wordpress.com)
- Cost Recovery in Public Sector GIS Programs (geodatapolicy.wordpress.com)
- Access to local GIS data (spatialityblog.com)
by Jack Dangermond, ESRI Insider, October 14, 2011
Born out of the Gov 2.0 movement, the terms transparency and accountability have become part of the daily vernacular of governments and the citizens they serve. One might even suggest these words have become a new expectation of governing. Transparency and accountability began with a simple concept of openly communicating public policy to the taxpayer. Today, these concepts are thriving within a growing emphasis on developing an interactive dialog between governments and the people. Maps can be a very valuable part of transparency in government. …
For full text of the article, visit Esri Insider : Improving Government Transparency and Accountability.
European Environment Agency (EEA) executive director Jacqueline McGlade, PhD, gave a keynote presentation at the 2011 Esri International User Conference (Esri UC) in San Diego, California. She described different ways that EEA works to collect data, ensure its quality, and engage citizens in becoming part of the solution. … “EEA wants to get people engaged in the environment,” explained McGlade. “By considering citizen and cultural knowledge, along with Western science, people can contribute in professional, semiprofessional, and amateur ways. Citizen reporting brings people into the mainstream of the environment. Europe’s Shared Environment Information System forces countries to see that they need a system of care. EEA supports via IT, applications, technology, and software, as well as training the population [to become] a large group of people who know what is going on around them. Programs like Earthwatch can take ordinary people into the field and train them to gather data and bring it back in a structured way.” To democratize information, EEA has worked with Microsoft and Esri to create the Eye on Earth platform. This is cloud technology that facilitates interaction. It includes the official data mandated by countries and allows citizens to say what they think. Crowdsourcing is an effective way of validating authoritative data from countries. With enough observations, it is easy to see when stations are not monitoring correctly.
For full text of the article, visit ESRI ArcNews.