Monthly Archives: August 2013

NSGIC Publishes Document about Location Data That Is Not Private

Newspapers and legislative hearing rooms are full of concerns over individual privacy.  While some of those concerns are well founded, there is a danger all data will be sequestered, that it will be locked behind firewalls.   If that happens, all transparency will be lost.  People will not be able to understand what is happening in their community.  They will not be able to make intelligent decisions or know how their government is functioning.

Thomas Jefferson said, “Information is the currency of democracy.”  NSGIC believes this and is especially concerned with attacks on locational information because Geographic is our middle name.   We have recently published a document, This Isn’t Private Information.  It presents five examples of locational data that is clearly not private.

  1. Street addresses, even with x-y coordinates, if no resident names are associated
  2. Property ownership and assessment records are purposely public records
  3. Aerial photography resolution is typically too course to identify individuals
  4. Published Census data is only summary information
  5. Google’s Street View™ and similar images

(September 17, 2013 Update)  MAPPS is also concerned about federal overreaction on privacy issues.  They have developed a resolution and other convincing material that document the value of imagery and geospatial information for the economy, public safety, open government, etc.  See Federal Issue: Privacy.

NSGIC Call for Awards

NSGIC is currently soliciting nominations for the NSGIC Outstanding Service Award and the NSGIC Lifetime Service Award. The NSGIC Outstanding Service Award is presented to an individual or organization has advanced the National Spatial Data Infrastructure, promoted NSGIC’s goal of efficient and effective government, and is likely to continue in their current or a more challenging position. Recipients must exceed the normal expectation of duty. The NSGIC Lifetime Service Award is presented to an individual that has given a ‘lifetime’ of notable service to NSGIC. This award is typically given to an individual who has served one or more leadership positions over an extended period of time; e.g., on the NSGIC Board, as an officer or as a Committee Chair. This award is usually given at the conclusion of the recipient’s career or at a transition point in their career. As this is one of NSGIC’s highest service award recognition, a recipient’s exemplary service must exceed the normal expectation of duty and have occurred over an extended period of time. Click here to view a list of past award recipients.

Click on the following links to view the criteria for each award:
NSGIC Lifetime Service Award
NSGIC Outstanding Service Award

Any current or former NSGIC member may nominate eligible individuals or organizations for this award. If you would like to nominate someone, please include detailed information concerning the nominee’s specific activities and responsibilities that make them eligible for the award. All nominations must be sent to the Awards Working Group Chair, Tony Spicci (Tony.Spicci@mdc.mo.gov) to be considered.  Nominations must be received by COB August 30th; any nomination without justification will not be accepted.