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Geographic Information Science. Mastering the Legal Issues. Mastering GIS: Technol, Applications & Mgmnt

  • ID: 2251898
  • Book
  • February 2005
  • Region: Global
  • 480 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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GI Science is a fast growing technology that is an instigator of change and, as such, confronted with emergent legal problems. Spatial information users and providers are increasingly concerned about the legal implications relating to the use and dissemination of geographic information.

Geographic Information Science: Mastering the Legal Issues is about geographic information policy and the legal implications of sharing public sector spatial information data. It covers issues of contract, liability and negligence for erroneous and inaccurate data, ownership of tangible and intangible intellectual property rights, and the question of privacy. The general principles guiding legal frameworks surrounding GI in different countries are presented as examples to analyse, explain and describe court decisions and policy reasons behind the law. Attention is given to recent developments in e–commerce and geo–commerce, particularly in relation to location–based services, geodemographic studies and GPS navigation.

Features include:

  • Examples, legal cases and material taken from a range of countries and jurisdictions;
  • Case studies illustrating and highlighting practical legal problems in using GI for business, government and academic research;
  • Key strategic, technical and legal issues in deploying GI systems;
  • Recent developments and changes, interpretation of the law, and an outline of implications for GI managers;
  • Signposts as further reading and URLs to assist further understanding.

Part of the Mastering GIS: Technology, Applications and Management Series, this book is essential reading for professional users of GIS data in the public and private sector, who need an overview of the legal implications of using such data. It will be a useful reference for upper–level undergraduate and Masters students studying for GIS degrees from a social and natural science perspective, and academic researchers who use spatial information in their work.

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Table of Cases.

Table of Statutes.



1. Geographic Information Science: Legal and Policy Issues.


An Introduction to the law.

Common law, statutes, civil law.

Court system.

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR).


International law.

Key Policy Issues.

Factors influencing geographic information policy.

Existing policy and policy making processes.

Data pricing policy.

Policy on the legal protection of data.

Data preservation.


Policy developments in Australia.

The geographic information and law nexus.


Data sharing.


Global positioning systems (GPS).

Aerial photographs and images.

Geography really does matter.


2. Sharing Geographic Information and Data.


Sharing geographic information and data.

Policies on access to public sector information (PSI).

Australia–New Zealand.

United States.

European Union.


Frameworks for accessing geospatial information.

Metadata content standards.

Clearinghouse and geolibrary.

Access and exchange standards.

Towards a global information infrastructure (GII).

United States National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI): Evolution and growth.

Canadian Geospatial Data Infrastructure (CGDI): Private sector leadership.

European Geographic Information Infrastructure (EGII): Balanced representation.

Australian Spatial Data Infrastructure (ASDI): Developments.

Asia Pacific and Africa Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) Efforts.

Global Spatial Data Infrastructure (GSDI) Strategic Plan.


3. Geographic Information and Intellectual Property Rights.


The Life of Gigo.

Intellectual property rights (IPR).

Intellectual property rights protection in Australia.

Quid pro quo and the international environment for intellectual property rights protection.

Intellectual property rights Conventions, Agreements and Treaties.

Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works 1998.

Rome Convention for the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organizations 1961.

Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) 1995.

WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT) and WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT) the Internet Treaties.

Copyright © and geographic information.

The case of maps.

Electronic databases.

European Union Database Directive.

Moral rights and sui generis regimes.

Business methods and geographic information patents.

The Digital Agenda.

Atypical developments and other legal issues.

The Copyleft Movement and No Rights Reserved.

Other intellectual property.

Infringements, defences and remedies.

Intellectual property rights: Employees and International Research.

Intellectual property rights in the work of employees.

Intellectual property rights and international research.

Lessons, litigation and the fate of Gigo s code.


4. Geographic Information and Privacy.


Philosophical issues: Nature and structure of the problem.

Geographic information systems are not personal data intensive.

Lack of understanding of privacy issues.

Ethical use of geospatial technologies.

Privacy and the legal and regulatory framework.

The Privacy Act 1998 (Cwlth).

The Privacy Amendment Act 1990 (Cwlth).

Data–Matching Program (Assistance and Taxation) Act 1991 (Cwlth).

Privacy Amendment (Private Sector) Act 2000 (Cwlth).

Freedom of Information.

The Common Law and the Disclosure of Personal Information.

Industry Codes of Conduct and Self Regulation.

The Regimé in the United States.

Common law privacy in the United States.

Evolving fair information privacy principles.

Geospatial technologies and privacy implications.

Data aggregation and databases.

Regulation and use of databases.

Some definitions: Location, Tracking and Dataveillance.

Geospatial technology applications: Home location.

Tracking movements of individuals in space.

Tracking transactions.

Tracing communications.

Convergence of locational and tracing technologies.

Privacy risk with location and tracking technologies.

Privacy invasive technologies (PIT), privacy enhancing technologies (PET), and privacy sympathetic technologies (PST).

Emergent policy and practice.

European Union Data Directive.

European Union–United States Safe Harbour Framework.

European Union Data Protection Directive and Implications for Australia, Canada and United Kingdom.


5. Geographic Information and Contract Law.


A contract is a meeting of the minds.

Contract for service and a contract of service.

 Personnel contracts.

Academics and researchers: As employees?

Geographic information systems: A product or service?


Why is spatial data special.

Liability implications and the privity of contract.

Exclusion clauses.

Contract execution: Discharge, failed contracts, and remedies.

Web–based contracts.

Electronic transactions regulations.

Electronic contracts.

Summary of legal issues.

Contract precedents.


6. Geographic Information and Liability Standards.


Legal standards and guidelines.

Legal liability theories.

Contract and strict products liability.

Tortious liability.

Statutory liability.

Other liability theories.

Liability risk management.


Data quality issues.

Global positioning systems (GPS) and map quality standards.

Legal risk management strategies.


Minimising liability and damage claims.




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George Cho
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