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Contribution to Book
Liability for Spatial Data Quality
Spatial Data Quality: From Process to Decisions (2009)
  • Harlan J Onsrud, University of Maine - Main

Liability in data, products, and services related to geographic information systems, spatial data infrastructure, location based services and web mapping services, is complicated by the complexities and uncertainties in liability for information system products and services generally, as well as by legal theory uncertainties surrounding liability for maps. Each application of geospatial technologies to a specific use may require integration of different types of data from multiple sources, assessment of attributes, adherence to accuracy and fitness-for-use requirements, and selection from among different analytical processing methods. All of these actions may be fraught with possible misjudgments and errors. A variety of software programs may be run against a single geographic database, while a wide range of users may have very different use objectives. The complexity of the legal questions surrounding liability for geospatial data, combined with the diversity of problems to which geospatial data and technologies may be applied and the continually changing technological environment, have created un-settling and often unclear concerns over liability for geospatial technology development and use. This article selects a single data quality issue to illustrate that liability expo-sure. In regard to that issue, it may have a substantial stifling effect on the widespread use of web-based geospatial technologies for such purposes as geographic data mining and interoperable web mapping services. The article concludes with a recommendation for a potential web-wide community solution for substantially reducing the liability exposure of geospatial technology and geographic data producers and users.

  • liability,
  • copyright,
  • web mapping,
  • geographic data sharing
Publication Date
Devillers, Rodolphe and Helen Goodchild
CRC Press
Citation Information
Harlan J Onsrud. "Liability for Spatial Data Quality" New YorkSpatial Data Quality: From Process to Decisions (2009)
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