About Freedata.ca

Mission Statement

Freedata.ca is dedicated to liberating access to government geospatial data across Canada. It is a place to discuss issues, educate, coordinate and encourage change.

The current policy of government charging high prices and applying restrictive usage requirements on geospatial data is stifling the geomatics industries and hampering the ability of small organizations, non-profits for example, to be involved in the planning and decision making of the nation.

At the present time, most Canadian government agencies license or sell geographic data under the cost recovery model. The theory is that government agencies recover the cost of data collection by charging for its distribution or use.

For a number of reasons, cost recovery mechanisms almost always cost more to implement and maintain than revenue they bring in. In other words, cost recovery is more expensive than giving data away free - for everyone involved!

Financial savings are only one reason to make data more accessible. Keeping geographic information out of the hands of the people who need it imposes costs on society - economically, environmentally, and socially.

To see these issues explored in more depth, see Why Geospatial Data Should Be Free.

The website

Freedata.ca has been set up by a small committee of geomatics professionals in British Columbia and Yukon. We have full time jobs, and need your help to grow this into a truly national site. Most of all, we need volunteers to describe the situation in their own provinces. If you are interested, please see the Participate page.

Special thanks to the members of the Canadian Free Geospatial Data Committee: Bruce Mackenzie, Allan Levinsohn, R. Keith Jones, Steve Lipscomb, who got the ball rolling in March 1999 and carried it through to March 2002.

If you made a submission then and wish to add, amend, or retract it send a message to the webmaster.

The web hosting [was previously] graciously donated by Transitional Media.