[OSM-talk-ie] [Fwd: [Osmf-talk] Fwd: Local Chapter Working Group Update - Looking for Volunteers]

Thomas Bibby thomas at bibby.ie
Tue Sep 22 22:12:35 BST 2009


Hi all,

Just wanted to bump the issue of a local chapter, prompted by the
announcement of postcodes today [1].

It seems to me that precisely now is the time for a group to be established
and (amongst other things) meet with the Minister and press for the postcode
database to be freely available, as well as other data held by OSi and other
state agencies.

Otherwise we could have a situation like in the UK where the database is
copyrighted and a huge amount of volunteer effort is required to create a
free alternative.  OK postcodes may not form part of the map per se, but
free postcodes when combined with free maps offer lots of interesting
possibilities.

Equally, government agencies hold data that, if freely available (under an
appropriate licence), could take the Ireland OSM project forward by many
years.

I'm not aware of any other group that is applying pressure on our government
to free our data.  It seems like we're nearly there [2],[3], but that the
licence offered specifically states non-commercial (link is broken on the
Department's site).

Even if there are only a few people interested, I think it is worth setting
up a local chapter of OSM in Ireland, and I'm certainly willing to draft a
constitution/set up a website/act as secretary/whatever else is necessary.

I can't see any evidence of any further work being done by the OSM
Foundation on this since the post in December 2008, but I don't see this as
something we should wait for (and we could always set up the group anyway,
possibly not using the OSM name if necessary)

Maybe getting our government to release free data is unlikely, but the
benefit that it would provide to the OSM project (and indeed society as a
whole) means that giving it a try is worth the effort, and I believe an
approach as a group is the most appropriate one.

I appreciate that others have done much more thinking about datasets and
licences than I have, and would appreciate any feedback or thoughts.

Cheers,

Thomas.

[1] http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2009/0922/1224254988303.html
[2] http://www.dcenr.gov.ie/Spatial+Data/
[3] see comment at http://www.freeourdata.org.uk/blog/?p=163



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