PUBLIC SPATIAL DATA DISTRIBUTION

PUBLIC SPATIAL DATA DISTRIBUTION

Answer three of the following four questions.

1. The controversy surrounding the issue of public spatial data distribution will not be subsiding soon. As knowledge of GIS as a decision-making tool becomes more widespread, the demand for
timely, high-quality data will increase as will the locaVstate government budget requests to collect, procure, and maintain these datasets. Make the case both for and against the free (or nearly
free) distribution of government-collected GIS data, examining all of the key issues. Conclude with your opinions on the matter.


2. While the potential benefits of geospatial technologies are becoming well known, the ethical issues they pose are less widely appreciated. For instance: Geospatial technologies are surveillance
technologies. The data they produce may be used to invade the privacy, and even the autonomy, of individuals and groups Data gathered using geospatial technologies are used to make policy
decisions. Erroneous, inadequately documented, or inappropriate data can have grave consequences for individuals and the environment. Geospatial technologies have the potential to exacerbate
inequities in society, insofar as large organizations enjoy greater access to technology, data, and technological expertise than smaller organizations and individuals. Summarize the GISCI’s GIS
Code of Ethics in the context of our readings and discussion. Use the GISCI’s Rules of Conduct for GIS Professionals to comment on how such a code can be implemented. For each major point, invent a
scenario of the potential ethical conflicts that can arise and how they might impact the organization, the individuals involved, and you, as a GIS manager. http://www.gisci.org/code_of_ethics.aspx
http://www.gisci.org/Ethics_and_Conduct/rules_of conduct.aspx


3. The use of GIS is not value-free. From the way data is collected to the way (and which) analyses are conducted to how the data is presented, a GIS solution embodies the values of its designers.
Discuss how GIS is value-laden. Can (and should) anything be done to remove inherent biases?


4. Much ado has been made about how GIS can help the enterprise of democracy by providing everyone with the tools necessary to analyze the same data and presenting their version of the “truth.” But
how realistic is this really? While those with resources and connections may be able to leverage the power of GIS, those with limited education, money, political power, and awareness may be further
disenfranchised by not taking advantage of these powerful tools. As a GIS-enabled Manager, how might you see to it that average citizens can make use of GIS, thus putting them on a level playing
field with business interests and government? Assuming this happens, discuss your thoughts on the impact on public discourse at the local level.

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