ransom_note_269.jpgvia Jo Walsh at Mapping Hacks

One of the things that has pissed me off over the years is how one has to pay for what should be free data. Those wonderful DRGs. Sure some states have wonderful GIS portals where they give this stuff away. But most don’t or make it very difficult to download. Plus people run off to these resellers like GISDataDepot and give money for free data. Well hopefully no more. Jared Benedict, the force behind the Libre Map Project flipped out and bought the whole DRG catalog from a reseller. Now he’s holding it RANSOM until the community pays up to set that data free. I just ponied up some cash to help and anyone who has ever used a DRG in the life should do too. Think of the children learning about GIS only to find that they can’t get free data that their parents and grandparents paid for with their tax dollars (feel free to hum “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”). Heck even if you want to buy DRGs in the mean time, he’s selling them on DVDs for much cheaper than any reseller out there. Great work Jared!

Maybe an important GIS software company, like Manifold, which is making billions off of GIS might be willing to give a couple dollars also.