On February 2, 2012 the URISA Board considered co-signing a GIS amicus curiae letter in the California Supreme Court case of Sierra Club v. Superior Court (County of Orange). The Board had earlier endorsed consideration of the Orange County decision by the California Supreme Court. While each Board member had their reasons to support or to not support signing the amicus curiae letter, there was not a majority in support.
This decision should not be seen as a change in URISA policy. URISA has and continues to urge states, provinces, and national governments to implement policies and practices that enable the widest possible sharing and easiest possible access to geospatial data by the public. In its latest expression of this consistent policy position, the URISA Board of Directors adopted the 2012 URISA Advocacy Agenda on January 5, 2012, which includes:
2. Nationwide Development of High Quality, Publicly Accessible Geospatial Data:
a. Develop, implement Geospatial Capability Maturity Assessment
b. Coordinate advocacy with NSGIC and others on For the Nation data initiatives
c. Support the Coalition of Geospatial Organizations (COGO) Data Sharing Initiative
While the Board decided to not sign the letter, we urge every URISA member to inform yourself of the details of this case and to make your own decision to sign or not to sign the GIS amicus curiae letter.
Greg Babinski, MA, GISP
If you would like to learn more about this case, visit http://calpubrec.org/oclawsuit/ Article
in CADALYST by Bruce Joffe
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