United Nations Code for Trade and Transport Locations

Various authors, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, Nov 21, 2012
Commentary by Stephen Downes

A list of every city in the world, or more accurately, every location that has a port, road, rail or air terminal, plus its exact geographic location and its shipping code. Some of the lists are quite detailed, as for example the listing for Canada, while others are less so. This list is maintained by th Unted Nations. Why mention it here? It came up as an example of the sort of open data that could be used in open edcucational resources. Except - it's not open data. The UN keeps full copyright, and permission must be sought to use it. This is in order to prevent the data from being changed, to prevent people from selling it, and to prevent its misuse, for example, in the case of wars. Laudable objectives, all three, but how can we make this work with OERs? The discussion around this is on the OER-community list archives - but I can't even link to these as contents cannot be viewed by people who are not members of the list (so I can see them, but most OLDaily readers can't). Another conundrum, no doubt created with noble intentions.

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