Open Canadian Geodata

Richard Akerman, Science Library Pad, Mar 14, 2007
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Back when I was designing a website for the municipal sector in Alberta I had a number of meetings with people who were developing GIS applications. At the time, their competitive advantage was that they had privileged access to government data (it certainly wasn't their technology, which never did make any real impact). I tried to free up that data so we could use it in MuniMall. I begged. I cajoled. I whined. I complained. I went to conferences and harangued them at their booth. Nothing worked, and we never did get any decent GIS applications. Now, finally, "In response to demands from users for no fee access to framework geographic data and the increasing technological shift in the marketplace, Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), is pleased to announce that starting April 1st 2007, the Earth Sciences Sector (ESS) ... will initiate a change from a cost recovery environment to an environment providing no fee access to its current DTD products." Finally. Sheesh. But.. oh yeah. YAY!
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