Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Geospatial bill would free up state GIS data

A bill that will make sharing of geospatial data from state agencies easier is set for a hearing in the Arizona State Senate on Monday, June 15 at 1:30 p.m., by the Senate Committee on Natural Resources, Infrastructure and Public Debt, in SHR 109. Senate Bill (SB) 1318 (geospatial data; geographic information council - Sen. John Nelson) would establish the Arizona Geographic Information Council (AGIC) in Legislation and reduce restrictions on making GIS data available publicly.

Existing laws require agencies collect unspecified fees from potential commercial use of state-generated digital GIS data. As a result, many agencies have declined to make their data available because they could not provide guarantees that commercial use could be controlled and charged appropriate fees.

AGIC currently operates under a gubernatorial executive order. Last year, legislation would have put AGIC into statute and move it to the AZGS. While that bill died in committee, it prompted the GIS community to examine the benefits of statutory authority. AGIC has endorsed SB1318.

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