Think $475,000 is a little steep for a county's GIS parcel database? So did the Sierra Club, and they decided to do something about it - they took Orange County, California to court. Now, they are fighting a battle for the entire nation, and their case will soon be ruled on by the California Supreme Court. At issue: who owns the geospatial information created by government. To learn more, use the links below to read:
- An article published by Cadalyst - Does Government GIS Data Belong to the People?
- Details of the lawsuit as provided by the California Public Records Access Project
Comment: On its face, this situation would seem to have little to do with the Emergency Services Sector (ESS). In reality, it has EVERYTHING to do with the ESS. Without an administrative environment where units of government are willing to share their geospatial data without an eye on the cash register, the flow of information is severely limited and the ability to build accurate situational awareness across political boundaries is virtually nonexistent. And in that situation, forget about ever seeing the ESS community's operational holy grail: a Common Operating Picture (see pages: 33, 34, 49, 50, 55, and 56).