Tag Archive | License

To License or Not to License Geospatial Data: Still a Challenge for Government Agencies

All Points Blog, Feb 25, 2013

Tim de Troye from the State of South Carolina offered a presentation that is an ongoing issue among states and local governments about how they distribute geospatial data collected with taxpayer money. He recognized that some organizations copyright their data and that data in South Carolina, for example, is available but through different agreements depending on whether it is spatial or not.

The big question in licensing geospatial data is to license or not to license?

For full text of this article, please visit To License or Not to License Geospatial Data: Still a Challenge for Government Agencies – All Points Blog.


New York newspaper defends identifying and mapping gun owners

By Katie Glueck, Politico, December 26, 2012

A suburban New York newspaper on Wednesday defended a decision to publish online maps that reveal names and addresses of people with gun licenses in several counties near New York City. … Over the weekend, the White Plains-based Journal News offered interactive maps of Westchester and Rockland counties which gave names and locations of people with pistol permits that the paper had obtained through the state’s Freedom of Information Act. The piece sparked uproar on the right and among some readers this week.

For full text of the article, please visit: New York newspaper defends identifying gun owners – Katie Glueck – POLITICO.com. Click here to see the interactive Map of the gun permits in Westchester county, NY.

Related Articles:

Between the Poles: Towards a global licensing framework for geospatial data

by Geoff Zeiss, Between the Poles, May 17, 2012

…Earlier this week [Goeff Zeiss] attended a workshop at the GSDI 13 conference in Quebec City given by the GSDI Legal and Economic Working group, Bastiaan van Loenen and Katleen Janssen (and Graham Vowles who was not able to make the trip to Quebec), specifically aimed at developing a global licensing framework for geospatial data.  The objective is to harmonize existing licensing without changing fundamental access policies and funding models and compatible with the differences in national legal systems.  The roadmap for the working group is

  1. Review existing licensing frameworks.
  2. Determine the common elements.
  3. Conduct a workshop to reach preliminary agreement on a limited number of license terms and conditions that might be applied at a global level.
  4. Draft a licensing framework.

For full text of this meeting summary, visit Between the Poles: Towards a global licensing framework for geospatial data.

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…

Google Inc + World Bank = Empowering Citizen Cartographers?

by Patrick Meier, iRevolution, January 20, 2012

World Bank Managing Director Caroline Anstey recently announced a new partnership with Google that will apparently empower citizen cartographers in 150 countries worldwide.  …So what’s the catch? Google’s licensing agreement for Google Map Maker stipulates the following: Users are not allowed to access Google Map Maker data via any platform other than those designated by Google. Users are not allowed to make any copies of the data, nor can they translate the data, modify it or create a derivative of the data. In addition, users cannot publicly display any Map Maker data for commercial purposes. Finally, users cannot use Map Maker data to create a service that is similar to any already provided by Google. …

For the full text of Patrick Meier’s discussion on data access and licensing issues, visit Google Inc + World Bank = Empowering Citizen Cartographers? | iRevolution. This has important implications for participatory mapping projects for humanitarian aid and sustainable development.

Open Source Licensing: Risk and Opportunity

By Dr. Ignacio Guerrero, Directions Magazine, July 21, 2011

Summary: This two-part article about open source software looks at software licenses, risks related to intellectual property and governance. In part one, author Ignacio Guerrero, IT consultant and former software director at Intergraph and Rolta, examines software licenses and their impact and risk to intellectual property. Part two will look at the elements of open source governance and risk management, and will be published in mid August.


Practical guidelines for open data licensing have been published in the United Kingdom

Thanks to Kevin Pomfret for passing along the following link:

by Katleen Janssen, EPSI Platform, 27 May 2011

Naomi Korn and Charles Oppenheim have prepared a Practical Guide for Licensing Open Data, targeting organisations that want to use open data and want to understand under which terms they can use data licensed by third parties. The Guide relies on work done by the Strategic Content Alliance and JISC projects related to digital content, including Web2Rights. The Guide provides short information on some of the most important legal domains that need to be taken into account when licensing open data (intellectual property rights, contract law, data protection, freedom of information, and breach of confidence). It explains the commonly known open licence models…

For full text of the article, click Licensing Open Data: A Practical Guide at EPSI Platform.

Why OpenStreetMap is moving from Creative Commons to the Open Database License

by Audrey Watters, O’Reilly Radar, June 16, 2011

… When OpenStreetMap launched, contributions to the project were licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution/ShareAlike license. That meant that anyone could copy OSM data, but if it was incorporated into another project, those same terms and conditions applied (ShareAlike) and the copyright owner had to be credited (Attribution). … After much discussion with lawyers and with the community, OpenStreetMap opted to make the move to the Open Database License (ODbL), arguing it was more suited to OSM’s purposes. I recently asked OSM founder Steve Coast about the decision and the process of making the switch. …

Full text of the article via Choosing the right license for open data – O’Reilly Radar.

Reps Markey and Barton grill Apple CEO on collection of location information

Key lawmakers want to know from Apple how it collects and uses information about the geography of iPhone and iPad users through location-based applications. … Reps. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Joe Barton (R-Texas), co-chairman of the House Bi-Partisan Privacy Caucus, Thursday sent a letter to Apple CEO Steve Jobs asking about recent press reports that the company has updated its privacy policies to alert users that it is collecting and using information about users’ precise geographic location. … The Los Angeles times wrote first about the inclusion of location data in Apple’s general privacy policy. The company declined to comment on the report, but the company has been collecting location-based data of users since 2008 and it included a disclosure of the practice in its end user license agreements.

For full text of the article, click here or visit: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/posttech/2010/06/lawmakers_grill_apple_ceo_jobs.html

Source: All Points Blog, Washington Post, June 25, 2010

NOAA May Require License to Take Photo of Earth


If you’re a Google Lunar X Prize team and you’re planning to take a photo of the Earth, you may want to get a NOAA license. Thanks to Res Communis and Launch Pad for the heads up!

The Launch Pad blog reported that:

NOAA had been contacted by a Google Lunar X PRIZE team to make some inquiries about potential license requirements. NOAA had in turn gotten in touch with us, and asked us for a quick briefing about the prize. … In a friendly and relatively brief meeting, Brett and I talked to NOAA about the prize, and told them that it was one open to international teams where teams were not explicitly required to but might optionally chose to image the Earth, either for navigation purposes or for commercial purposes outside of the scope of the prize requirements… The NOAA officials were appreciative for the brief, but stated a desire to communicate to teams as quickly and as thoroughly as possible that some teams in some circumstance might need a NOAA license. To that end, NOAA has now published an open letter to the teams on their website (link goes to a .PDF), providing some quick details and contact information. …

Source: The Launch Pad, July 24, 2008

NOAA’s Letter to X Prize Participants and U.S. Remote Sensing Law

Google Lunar X-Prize

The X PRIZE Foundation and Google, Inc. today announced the first ten teams to register for the Google Lunar X PRIZE, a robotic race to the Moon to win a remarkable $30 million in prizes. This international group of teams will compete to land a privately funded robotic craft on the Moon that is capable of roaming the lunar surface for at least 500 meters and sending video, images and data back to the Earth. …

Source: Google X Prize Foundation, February 21, 2008



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