Archive for October, 2013

Multiple Sources, Multiple Policies

Monday, October 14th, 2013

The license agreement on government data sets varies widely.  In the best case they are public domain. In the worst case they are not released.  Sometimes the use is heavily restricted.  The good news is that there is rarely a sole source of data for a given project.

This project is a park in Annapolis. The town will provide data but the license agreement is onerous.  A map cannot be created and distributed to persons outside the project. But Annapolis lies within Anne Arundel County.  The county data sets are public domain so I can use them as I see fit.  Other options are open source, state and federal government, and civic organizations.

The moral is don’t stop at one source. You might find better terms or better data in other holdings.  It’s a great way to quality check too.  One hours research led me to all of this for free.