The Big and the Little
Yesterday’s Guardian had a piece exploring the dichotomy between ground-level, do-it-yourself, open-source mapping projects done by people walking about with GPS units, and the massive geodata owned by government agencies.
So why would anyone want to make their own map, especially when abundant geodata already exists? The main reason is cost — geodata is expensive. With the exception of the US and Denmark, all the world’s major mapping agencies copyright geodata. In Britain, all government documents are controlled by crown copyright. The weblogs of community cartographers are calling for Britain to adopt a mapping strategy similar to the U.S., where the government publishes all non-classified documents in the public domain, including highly accurate geodata.