[OSM-legal-talk] India Mapping

Michael Patrick geodesy99 at gmail.com
Sat May 14 16:21:43 UTC 2016

It's actually kind of ... "breath taking", in a draconian way, especially
in comparison to other governments in the world ( especially the British
Ordnance Survey releasing their LIDAR data ) cracking open their data.

> ... any thoughts

In the wake of 9/11, a whole lot of thought went into the issue, and there
is a vast amount published online - notable are the RAND reports which
basically addressed the same knee-jerk reactions towards locking down GIS
data: Mapping the Risks: Assessing the Homeland Security Implications of
Publicly Available Geospatial Information and many others since then.

In a nutshell:

   1. The cat is already out of the bag - there is so much data, from so
   many international sources, over so long, it would be impossible to
   retroactively restrict it.
   2. There is no way of classifying what is harmful of not, especially
   since individual datasets can be combined to infer features not in the
   original sources.
   3. Since GIS data by it's nature is transmitted, processed, and re-used
   it is almost impossible at times to identify the lineage of datasets.
   4. Restricting data acts to the detriment of your own local military,
   law enforcement, first-responders, and volunteers to plan, respond, and
   recover from disaster scenarios.
   5. Defense infrastructure is interwoven with the public infrastructure.
   6. Restriction inhibits the development of domestic COTS systems which
   benefit security response. (During the Gulf War 1991, of the 40,000
   vehicles in theater, only 3,000 received a GPS unit, including forward and
   reconnaissance elements, unit commanders, and artillery surveyors - causing
   troops to buy their own GPS devices or have relatives send them from home.
   The military then 'de-fuzzed' the GPS signal to improve the performance of
   those devices).
   7. Consumer grade devices ( cell phones with GPS, etc. ) already have
   the capability to fill in any gaps in restricted datasets.
   8. By restricting or omitting data, you unintentionally red flag the
   stuff of interest.
   9. The sheer *volume* of data makes vetting it impossible.

( ... several hundred other points here ...)

Most of the final recommendations went the other direction - to actually
increase quality, availability and dissemination of GIS data.

Michael Patrick
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