[Foundation-l] Fight for Freedom of Geographic Data - how can Wikimedia help?

Jakob Voss jakob.voss at nichtich.de
Thu Feb 23 14:38:10 UTC 2006


I tried to summarize at http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/INSPIRE

I'm sorry that I cannot support with more than interest because I'm very 
busy at the moment, but if anyone (yes, also you, anonymous reader!) 
writes good press releases, information material, plans for activities 
etc. I'm sure that there will be ways how Wikimedia Foundation and/or 
local Wikimedia chapters will can help with both it's popularity and 
financial support if needed.


Jo Walsh wrote:
> dear Jakob et al, thanks a lot for your interest and energy. I
> apologise for the long lag in my response; i've been offline for the
> last 5 days on a long driving trip, and just got back to participate
> in another binge of publicgeodata / INSPIRE outreach. 
> I'm cc'ing here Benjamin Henrion, who is doing the Brussels running 
> and press negotiation for publicgeodata.org, in the rare moments of spare
> time allowed him by his day job with FFII.org . He's the expert on
> tone in lobbying activities.  
> On Tue, Feb 21, 2006 at 02:00:25PM +0100, Jakob Voss wrote:
>>>> There is an oportunity - no: necessity - for active lobbying for Free
>>>> Knowledge in the European Union. The Proposed European Commission 
>>>> Directive on European Spatial Data Infrastucture (INSPIRE) is 
>>>> endangered to put more intellectual property rights on geographica 
>>>> data in the European union.
>>>> See http://publicgeodata.org/WhatIsInspire and 
>>>> http://space.frot.org/docs/inspire_directive.html
>>>> Any suggestions? I'm still searching for an occasion and easy example
>>>> [2] to convince your grandma, get into the media etc.
>>> I will look into this and possibly try to contact the right people here
>>> in Poland. Since we already have one win in this field, maybe we could
>>> follow up on that.
>> Thank you for following this. We should use the popularity of Wikimedia 
>> to get more attention to this in the public, parliament and/or where the 
>> important people are but I don't know how. I press release "Wikimedia 
>> criticises Inspire" is missing a specific occasion. But Wikimedia and 
>> Wikipedians are mostly busy with other stuff. Maybe Stefan Kühn
>> http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benutzer:Stefan_K%C3%BChn
>> is interested to help and/or can give you more contact - he is doing a 
>> PhD in cartography and is very active in the German Wikipedia with 
>> Geodata (see link below).
>> Jo Walsh can probably give us hints where to do lobbying with which 
>> arguments (hi Jo, are you reading this?). I hope that he has some good 
>> examples. We can also show what is possible with free geodata and Wikipedia:
> http://publicgeodata.org/ActOnInspire is the brief-notes practical
> guide to lobbying INSPIRE. http://publicgeodata.org/Arguments
> currently shows Benjamin's list of what touches MEPs minds most
> directly. 
> I would say that part of what has made focusing on what's wrong with
> INSPIRE difficult, is how many angles there are by which to look at
> it. I would say that the strongest ones are these:
> - Commercial copyright and licensing of geodata risks suppressing
>   innovation, leading to less job creation and less economic activity 
>   for Europeans in next-generation location services built on GALILEO
> - Geodata is a public good and has many use cases not addressed by the
>   market - allowing citizens to find recycling facilities, disabled
>   access facilities, etc. It actually is more expensive to distributed
>   data than to give it away.
> - The aims of INSPIRE and related programs are to facilitate sharing
>   of data between member states, especially in order to respond to
>   environmental emergencies and to model sustainable alternatives.
>   There are huge translation and taxonomy problems involved. The
>   quickest way to resolve these is to put the data into the public
>   domain.
> - INSPIRE has been designed without consultation of the broader
>   academic, freelance research and business interests which depend
>   heavily on how much European citizens have to pay for the geographic
>   information collected on their behalf.
> A lot of our earlier writing on the subject of INSPIRE -
> http://space.frot.org/docs/uninspired.html in particular i have seen 
> quoted back at me recently - was addressed to a technical/professional
> audience. I tend to get caught up in the philosophy, carried away with
> words; Benjamin is very much immersed in the EU process. 
> http://rejectinspire.publicgeodata.org/ is our best ongoing shot at a
> populist rendition of "why sign the petition". 
> How can you help us? Let me count the ways:
> - We are gathering testimonials from SMEs and research users of
>   geodata. Markus Neteler of the GRASS project is hopefully offering
>   one on behalf of the Open Source Geospatial Foundation.
>   This would be a great thing to have the Wikimedia Foundation do. 
>   http://publicgeodata.org/Testimonies 
> - Now we have a decent signup base on the petition, we hope to do more
>   widespread, popular oriented publicity for publicgeodata soon. It
>   would be great to be able to 
>   * Take this out of the English-speaking, UK-oriented medium more
>   * Take this into paper press - Le Monde, Financial Times etc
>   This is an area in which the Wikimedia Foundation could be really
>   useful, both in offering a press release of its own, and helping us
>   get into conduits that reach through to the "mainstream" media
>   throughout Europe, more widely. 
> - PR and rewriting advice, to help get the message across in different
>   ways, is always appreciated.
>> http://www.webkuehn.de/hobbys/wikipedia/geokoordinaten/index_en.htm
>> Images are always more convincing.
> Definitely; i've learnt from long experience that pointing and
> shouting at neat hacks like fundrace.org, or the myriad sites that use
> geocoder.us to do spatial things, aren't convincing to Europeans;
> people need to see maps of where they are, places they understand and
> feel really connected to. It's chicken-and-egg for us; we could build
> the convincing demos given access to state collected geodata!
> Markus just showed me this slide from a GRASS talk he is giving:
> http://mpa.itc.it/markus/grass61/demos/rlake/trento3d_flooding_before_after.jpg
> The geo-discuss list at OKFN is the central place to talk about all
> this, and would definitely be the best place to braindump any
> followups to this discussion:
> http://lists.okfn.org/mailman/listinfo/geo-discuss
> We also have an irc channel on irc.freenode.net#publicgeodata
> (i am 'zool' there, Benjamin is 'zoobab')
> Thanks again so much for your interest; my apologies again for the
> long delay in followup; look forward to finding out more about your
> end of this conversation.
> -jo

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