Tag Archive | Legal

New Research on Legal Issues and Validation of Crowdmapping

Rak, Andriy (2013). Legal Issues and Validation of Volunteered Geographic Information.

Abstract: The Canadian Geospatial Data Infrastructure (CGDI) provides access to authoritative geographic datasets of Canada, which are the source of accurate and reliable data. The process of acquiring, updating and maintaining such datasets using traditional approaches, requires both time and costly resources. As a result, in many cases the datasets are out of date because of the high cost of maintenance. An alternative approach to reliably create and update authoritative datasets is linked to its integration with Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI). VGI provides a vast source of spatial information to government, industry and citizens. However, the integration of VGI with CGDI generates several questions, with VGI quality and legal issues at the forefront.

This research has investigated methods for assessing the quality of VGI, and describes the importance of a link between VGI and legal liability in the need for integration of VGI with CGDI. This research developed a prototype to validate data quality and examined legal liability issues around VGI to discover a strategy for possible integration of VGI with CGDI datasets. The research also provides four primary risk management techniques for CGDI to manage risks resulted from incorporating VGI into their datasets.

M.Sc.E. thesis, Department of Geodesy and Geomatics Engineering Technical Report No. 283, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada, 128 pp. (April 2013)

Tweeting Up a Storm

Commons Lab, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, December 2012

We are inundated daily with stories from the news media about the possible impact social media like Facebook and Twitter will have on our lives. When a storm like Hurricane Sandy hits the East Coast, can this technology actually help to save lives and reduce catastrophic damages? It’s possible. For instance, mobile devices could allow emergency responders, affected communities, and volunteers to rapidly collect and share information as a disaster unfolds. Photos and videos provided through social media could help officials determine where people are located, assess the responses and needs of affected communities—such as water, food, shelter, power and medical care—and alert responders and citizens to changing conditions.

At least that is the promise. When Hurricane Irene barreled across the Eastern seaboard in August 2011, many in the news media cited it as a pivotal moment for social media for disasters. But research we conducted on the use of social media during Irene suggests otherwise. While some emergency management departments launched new social media outreach strategies during the storm, particularly to push information out to the public, many did not change their practices radically and overall use of the technology varied.

This article explores the challenges of effective use of social media for disaster response, read more here.

Big Data in Law: Cloud Challenge, Analytics Opportunity

by Dave Einstein, NetApp, Forbes.com, October 31, 2012

The legal profession may have begun on Mount Sinai, where Moses delivered The Ten Commandments. But today, it’s heading into the cloud, where the privacy and security of big data are dramatically changing the legal landscape—especially internationally.

For full text of the article, please visit Big Data in Law: Cloud Challenge, Analytics Opportunity – Forbes.

 

Is Social Media Subject to Same Rules as Paper Discovery?

by Jay Yurkiw, Technology Law Source, October 23, 2012

In a recent decision, a court in the Southern District of Ohio denied a motion to compel the plaintiff in an employment discrimination action to give the defendants her user names and passwords for each of the social media sites she uses. In Howell v. The Buckeye Ranch, Case No. 2:11-cv-1014 (S. D. Ohio Oct. 1, 2012), the court said “[t]he fact that the information defendants seek is an electronic file as opposed to a file cabinet does not give them the right to rummage through the entire file. The same rules that govern the discovery of information in hard copy documents apply to electronic files.” Applying this reasoning, the court held that the defendants’ discovery request was overbroad because turning over the plaintiff’s user names and passwords would give them access to “all the information in the private sections of her social media accounts—relevant and irrelevant alike.” Although the court denied the motion to compel, it did find that relevant information in the private section of a social media account is discoverable, and that this information is not privileged or protected from discovery by a common law right of privacy.

For the full discussion and citations to other related cases, visit the Technology Law Source at Discovery of Social Media Information is Subject to Same Rules as Paper Discovery : Technology Law Source.

International Workshop on Geospatial Data Quality: Legal, Ethical and Technical Aspects

 International Workshop on Geospatial Data Quality: Legal, Ethical and Technical Aspects

Post GSDI Conference Workshop, May 18 2012

2. Organizer/Contact Person
Marc Gervais (Marc.Gervais@scg.ulaval.ca) or Rodolphe Devillers (rdeville@mun.ca)

3. Workshop Description and Goals
This Friday workshop will summarize the main research findings of a 4-year Canadian GEOIDE project that looked at law, data quality, public protection and ethics in relation to geospatial data. The agenda is below. More details will be found on the GSDI-13 Conference web site shortly, including registration instructions. A small fee will be charged to cover out-of-pocket expenses. The workshop is open to the public.

Read More…

Towards the Global Harmonization of Licenses for Geographic Data

Workshop #2: “Towards the Global Harmonization of Licenses for Geographic Data”

Monday, May 14, 2012 at the Global Spatial Data Infrastructure 13 Conference, Quebec, Canada

2. Organizer/Contact Person
Dr. Bastiaan van Loenen, Chair, GSDI Association Legal and Socioeconomic Committee, b.vanloenen@tudelft.nl, +31(0)152782554

3. Workshop Description and Goals
On the basis of the work of the GSDI Legal and Socioeconomic Committee on the comparison and categorization of key licence components, this workshop will explore the possibilities for developing a set of model licences that can be applied globally to the dissemination of geographic data. Participants will explore the needs and interests of data providers and the users in the licensing process and try to develop a common understanding of the priorities for a global licensing framework. From this, the group will try to reach preliminary agreement on a limited number of license terms and conditions that might be applied on a global level.

4. Workshop Topics
What is the problem? What are potential solutions?
Open access license provisions
Commercial license provisions
Potential unified frameworks
Committee approach and progress to date
Towards a minimal set of workable terms and conditions for most providers and users

Read More…

Cost Recovery in Public Sector GIS Programs

GIS Program Revenue Generation and Legal Issues in Public Sector Organizations

by Peter Croswell and Alex Wernher, URISA, 2004

Abstract: In late 2003, The authors, in coordination with the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA), conducted a survey to learn about the status of financial, legal, and policy issues impacting public sector geographic information system (GIS) programs in the United States. More specifically, the survey’s purpose was to gather information about revenue generation through the sale of GIS products and services by organizations administering public agency GIS programs. This publication describes the approach and results of this survey, which included responses from a number of federal, state, regional, and local public agencies. In addition, this publication provides an overview of important concepts and issues that impact the distribution and sale of products and services from public agency GIS programs.

It will discuss the types of GIS products and services being provided by public agencies to external organizations and the nature and legal basis of agreements for cost sharing and funding of GIS programs. A review of important legal concerns will cover such areas as: a) impacts of state open records laws, b) privacy regulations, c) copyright restrictions on GIS databases, d) liability issues and other policy and legal issues. It will summarize the results of a national survey conducted in the Fall of 2003 which gathered information from public agencies on: The status of revenue generation programs; GIS products, services and fee schedules; Non-traditional funding sources; Interagency agreements and consortia; and Legal issues impacting GIS data and product distribution.

For full text of this report and survey, click here.

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