Boy, all I wanted to do is get some GIS data for GIS Day 2009. Little did I know my own hometown is one of the worst offenders of locking up GIS Data.

City of Tempe - Sale of Engineering & GIS Records

Take a look, “$568.70 for each quarter section or 1/4 mile area”. For your own information, Tempe is 40 sq miles in size so do the math. Simply nuts! Plus take a look at their “conditions”:

Conditions and Restrictions

  1. All commercial orders and digital data orders will be required to document purpose of use.
  2. Plotting orders in excess of $25.00 and all digital data orders will require full pre- payment before order is processed.
  3. Digital data will be provided on city-issued media only.
  4. All orders and payments must be done in-person only.

I mean really, not only do they “share” it in Microstation, but you have to document the purpose of public data, you have to get the data on “city-issued” media and orders must be made in person. My jaw is still on the floor a week after I looked that this. Time for a little geo-revolution in Arizona. Don’t you think? Prepare to get very tired of my “struggle” against the City of Tempe for their data.

Time to call in the troops, free public data!

Time to call in the troops, free public data!

Update: Andrew Turner provides a great link to put this in perspective as well as the issues with data licenses on local geodata.

Update 12/01/2009: I just received this from the city:

Hello Mr. Fee,

Thank you for bringing your concerns to the city’s attention. We will review this practice/policy with the City Attorney’s Office and I will get back to you with more information as soon as possible.

Regards, Nikki

Nikki Ripley City of Tempe Communication and Media Relations Director

At least it is a response. Maybe other organizations who have more power in this valley might be able to get some results. I’m still hopeful though…