[Imports] [Talk-us] Dakota County, MN Building Import

Greg Troxel gdt at lexort.com
Thu Apr 6 19:31:17 UTC 2017

<joe.sapletal at charter.net> writes:

> On that page, it states Dakota County encourages public use of this
> GIS data.  “The County Board of Commissioners adopted a policy of free
> and open GIS data, in collaboration with the other six metropolitan
> counties in the Twin Cities.  More information on this initiative is
> available from MetroGIS. “ The page that in links to is the hub for
> all this licensing stuff.  In the documents it defines Open as “no
> legal agreements or other conditional encumbrances required to access
> the data” and “no constrain on the use of the data once acquired by
> the user”.
> Do they have to explicitly say CT/ODbl on the website or does it
> suffice they link to the policy created by all counties in the metro
> that says, free take it, no contraints?

There is no need to refer to CT/ODbL.  What's necessary is clear
permission to use the data under terms that are acceptable.  (I'm just a
random member of the imports list, and if the consensus is that this
license is good enough, I won't object.)

I think we are talking about:


and the text at the bottom includes

  If you transmit or provide the GIS Data (or any portion of it) to
  another user, you must provide a copy of this disclaimer and the
  accompanying metadata for this dataset to the user.

This qualifies as open data; it's logically similar to attribution
requirements in various software licenses, and those are not
disqualified from being Free (FSF) or Open Source (OSI).  But software
is generally a bunch of files, and carrying such license text is
trivial.  In the OSM case, there's a large vector database with no
facility for disclaimers (except on the web site), and data is routinely
extracted.  OSM doesn't want to impose these notice requirements on
users of the database.

It may be that adding this disclaimer to the set at


is sufficient.  But OSM cannot provide copies of a county's disclaimer
to all people who access OSM data that might include some of that data.

Going to the metrogis site, and finding the Dakota County resolution, I
see that it says:

  NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the Dakota County Board of
  Commissioners hereby authorizes the Office of GIS to publish its public
  geospatial data on its website in a commonly recognized and easily
  produced form, available for download by anyone at no cost, subject to
  accepting the terms of the data disclaimer GIS data usage agreement; and

and the "data disclaimer GIS usage agreement".   So the metrogis Free
and Open notion is not really the issue; it's the requirement to provide
a copy of the disclaimer and metadata.

OSM's usage is of course within the broad spirit of this; the metadata
should be in the chagngeset comments, and that's accessible to those who
want to look it up.

For what it's worth, in Massachusetts the terms are generally "public
domain, with attribution requested", which has been ok.
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