Personal perspectives on information science, the evolving Internet, delivery of public services online, Web 2.0, the Web of Data, the Semantic Web, communities, folksonomies and more. With an emphasis upon convergence between some or all of the above, and a UK slant.
Signed. In the blink of my mouse's red blinking eye thing. I only wish it had been around back inmy GIS days, as I and others struggled against the intransigence (and, at the time, lousy data) of those who controlled access to the data we needed.
Making a common pool of basic data (whether geographic, European, or otherwise) available to third parties stimulates a market for innovation and the development of value-added applications. It always has. This provision ofbasic datain no way impacts upon the data provider's (or anyone else's) ability to make money from the rich applications and higher value data sets that they might seek to layer on top. Instead, the providers of these commercial services find themselves with a larger and more informed market than they might otherwise have had.
We see this quite clearly in the USA, where various Federal agencies make mapping data available. There's an extremely healthy market for third parties cleaning up the basic data, adding ATM locations, etc.
Free basic data gets you so far. It opens your eyes to possibilities. It enables you to try things out. It allows you to spread your wings, and to push some boundaries. To go to the next level, it may not be enough by itself.
Sign the petition. Everyone wins. It may take some of the entrenched dinosaurs of the European mapping space a decade or two to agree, but they'll get there. You may even be surprised to find these agencies staffed by people who - on the whole -doget it. They just need sufficient ammunition to change the rules under which their Governments expect them to operate. 'Trading Fund', indeed. Who ever heard such a silly idea?