Archive for May, 2006
Statistics New Zealand have released the digital boundaries for Local Authorities and Regional Councils from the 2006 Census. They are available in Shapefile and TAB formats.
Its been mentioned for a while, but someone has now created a combination of a wiki and Google Maps. This has really interesting potential to allow collaborative development of spatial information. Of course the more open data is available – the better.
I came across an interesting article about people in the UK having to go out an map roads for themselves because the Crown Copyright does not allow them to use the Ordnance Survey data.
“Freeing certain scales of data would be good, but the best way to make it happen [is] to go and do it,” replies Coast. “There’s no reason for OS to [free the data] because it has a monopoly. There’s no economic incentive – until we produce one.”
If Ordnance Survey and other national agencies will not make their data freely available, then OpenStreetMap, developed over the past two years, will re-collect it from scratch. OS maps are covered by Crown copyright, which lasts 50 years from the end of the year of publication.
Luckily we’re a bit better off here in New Zealand, although I’d love to see the innovation that would occur with spatial data if LINZ made all their data available via torrent – as TopoOnline presents too much of a barrier to obtaining significant amounts of topographic information.