NC GICC Recomendation for Geospatial Data Sharing

I recently finished a Carolina URISA/GITA conference. I use the term “finished” rather than “returned from” because the conference was held about a mile from my office and about two blocks from my bus stop. Not that I think Charlotte is the pits, but c’mon people, get me to the beach or mountains already! But I digress. It was, as usual, a great conference.

Although there were a lot of great sessions, what I wanted to share in this post was a list of recommendations for geospatial data sharing from the North Carolina Geographic Information Coordinating Council. I think they are still in draft form (they were requesting feedback, which was pretty overwhelmingly positive), but I thought they were so simple, clear, and well thought out that I’d hit some of the highlights here.

  • Avoid Formal Agreements The very first item on the list, to which I give an unabashed round of applause. "Written agreements that unnecessarily restrict the free exchange of geospatial data will be avoided." When they read that one, I wanted to go hug somebody. Take your petty turf issues and stuff them (my words, not theirs).
  • Web Access Share your data via the web. Sure sure.
  • Free Data Don't charge for stuff between government agencies. We're on the same team people. Check.
  • Single Point of Contact Good idea. If people get transferred more than once you have a workflow/customer service problem. Check.
  • Regional Solutions "Regional approaches for data collection and data sharing through NC OneMap should be employed where beneficial and appropriate." Collaboration is a good thing. Sure sure.
  • Official Outlets Get source data from the source. If you have somebody else's data and somebody requests it, send them to the source. Makes sense to me. Provided the original source isn't a petty data tyrant.
  • Archive and Long Term Access Keep some historical data. Pretty good idea.
Or course, this is a very abbreviated summary of a very abbreviated summary of a draft of this list of recommendations by NC GICC, but still, I think these ideas are great, and I'm naturally biased against agencies with greater than three letters in their acronym. If I were to craft an internal data sharing policy between different governmental/nonprofit/education/etc. agencies, I don't think I could do any better than the simple, common sense rules the NC GICC came up with. Hats off.

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