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Licensing Geographic Data and Services 10 Recommendations Before entering into data acquisition negotiations, agencies should confirm the extent of data redistribution required by their mandates and missions, government information policies, needs across government, and the public interest.1 Agencies should experiment with a wide variety of data procurement methods in order to maximize the excess of benefits over costs.2 When geographic data are used to design or administer regulatory schemes or formulate policy, affect the rights and obligations of citizens, or have likely value for the broader society as indicated by a legislative or regulatory mandate, the agency should evaluate whether the data should be acquired under terms that permit unlimited public access or whether more limited access may suffice to support the agency’s mandates and missions and the agency’s actions in judicial or other review.3 Agencies should agree to license restrictions only when doing so is consistent with their mandates, missions, and the user groups they serve.4 1 See Chapter 8, Section 8.3. 2 See Chapter 8, Section 8.3.1. 3 See Chapter 8, Section 18.104.22.168. 4 See Chapter 8, Section 22.214.171.124.
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Licensing Geographic Data and Services Agencies that acquire data for redistribution should take affirmative steps to learn the needs and preferences of groups that are the intended beneficiaries of the data as defined by the mandates and missions of the agency. Agencies should avoid making technical choices in anticipation of secondary and tertiary uses or consumer preferences.5 Agencies should dedicate resources to training and knowledge sharing among agencies in order to extract maximum public benefit from licensing. The Federal Geographic Data Committee’s working group and subcommittee structure provides a convenient venue through which agencies can report and learn from their experiences.6 Agencies, trade associations, and public interest groups should exercise leadership in promoting standard clauses and form licenses throughout the geographic data community.7 Agencies should continue to keep abreast of data brokerage and automated purchasing system developments that might help them coordinate data acquisitions from competing vendors.8 The geographic data community should consider a National Commons in Geographic Information where individuals can post and acquire commons-licensed geographic data. The proposed facility would make it easier for geographic data creators (including local to federal agencies) to document, license, and deliver their datasets to a common shared pool, and also would help the broader community to find, acquire, and use such data. Participation would be voluntary.9 The geographic data community should consider a National Marketplace in Geographic Information where individuals can offer and acquire commercial geographic data. The proposed facility would make it easier for the geographic data community to offer, find, acquire, and use existing geographic data under license. Participation would be voluntary.10 5 See id. 6 See Chapter 8, Section 8.5. 7 See Chapter 9, Section 9.2.1. 8 See Chapter 9, Section 126.96.36.199. 9 See Chapter 9, Section 9.3.1. 10 See Chapter 9, Section 9.3.2.
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Licensing Geographic Data and Services The geographic data community should consider a system of “data donations” in which anyone who sells data using the National Marketplace in Geographic Information automatically agrees to donate their data to the commons after a commercially reasonable time, which we provisionally set at five years.11 Federal agencies should investigate options for and encourage development of a National Commons and Marketplace in Geographic Information.12 11 See Chapter 9, Section 9.4.1. 12 See Chapter 9, Section 9.5
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