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Theses/Dissertations

University of Wisconsin Milwaukee

Geographic Information Sciences

Policy Analysis

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Access To Spatial Data: The Political Power Of Legal Control Mechanisms, Patrice A. Day Aug 2012

Access To Spatial Data: The Political Power Of Legal Control Mechanisms, Patrice A. Day

Theses and Dissertations

According to the U.S. Supreme Court (Island Trees School District v. Pico, 457 U.S. 853, 1982), the Constitution presupposes that the free flow of information between the government and the public is essential to maintaining an informed citizenry, which in turn is essential to holding governments accountable. However, local governments are increasingly using various legal mechanisms to limit public access to geographic information (GI), and this in turn can potentially disrupt this balance. Licensing and copyright are two such mechanisms that local government agencies are using to limit GI access and distribution.

If information is power, whoever controls information, controls …