Comments > QuebecQuebec

From Yves Poissant, an artist and multimedia project manager in Beaconsfield, QC:

I find it strange that the data from Canada is basically inaccesible while troughout most of the rest of the world, they are freely accessible. Even some smallish countries have done good jobs at making their geospatial data available.

I have reached this web site after a long search for gospatial data for Canada. I found them from the US database. Isn't that funny?. During this hunt, I could also read comments from people around the world about the pitiful state of the geospatial data from Canada. Not only are they pricey but they don't seem to be in very good shape either.

From Guy Rochon, of SoftMap Technologies Inc. in Quebec City, Quebec:

From an economic point of view, there is only one choice: the immediate liberalization of the access to the public data in Canada. Otherwise the present situation will constitute a major holdback to the global development of the Canadian economy.

Public data, particularly geospatial data, is the fuel of the IT engine on which our future is based. The development of the Canadian geomatics industry may seem important but it is nevertheless of minor concern compared to the previous issue. The petition is a good way to advance this cause. But its chance of success is very low, like millions of other petitions.

The use of legal actions, like a class action, to enforce the already existing law (Access to Information Act) and clarify its application is the only effective way to change things "rapidly" unless the governmental administration decides to take action by itself right now.

Some indications of this process in NRCan policies and strategies are in the air but the speed of action is not in accordance with the urgency of the problem. And there is no guarantee of its success at this moment. Sensible and well-aware Canadians should take strong actions to correct an unacceptable and very detrimental situation to our presence in the global eBusiness world.

From Mario Sylvain, responsible for geomatics with la municipalit?r?ionale de comt?de Vall?-de-l?Or, Quebec:

Our municipal government bought basic data (lakes, rivers, roads, cadastre) from the Quebec government for a price of tens of thousands of dollars. But even though the price is very high, my worst problem is the copyright license included with data. This license totally stops me from distributing the data after I have modified it.

From Robert J. Gowan, a Professional Geologist in Aylmer, Quebec:

The current policies on data pricing of most governments (federal, most provinces, most municipalities) are stifling an industry that could and should make Canada an example to the world. The policy makers responsible for those decisions have no understanding of geomatics or the value of their data. It's true value is in the encouragement of data users to use it to create value added products. It is ludicrous that government departments are denied access (economically) to data they need and must go to foreign sources for less than adequate replacements. It is shameful the public interest groups, educators, and non-profit organizations are similarly denied an opportunity to fully participate in activities that require this data. It is short-sighted that governments attempt to gouge potential new businesses and employers, natural resource developers, tourists, etc for a bit of data, when just one major project (e.g. a mine) that might be encouraged if data was free, may well bring in more revenue than a decade of data sales. It is just plain foolish that Canadian entrepreneurs and innovators are "ripped off" and left frustrated and discouraged, or forced to become part of the very real brain-drain. It is time to put a stop to this insanity!

From Lucie Johanis, of the Archaeological Sites Office, CMC in Hull, Quebec:

The cost of digital maps are prohibitive and prevent development of a GIS application in the management of a combined NWT, YUKON and Nunavut archeological sites inventory. The inventory is geo-based and works with 1:50,000 maps.

From Brian Miller, of Geoscience Data Management Services in Toronto, Ontario:

Quebec 'Badgeq' survey data:

The government of Quebec 'Badgeq' geochemical survey data set used to be available, in its entirety, for approximately $150.00. This was circa spring 1996. Now the government of Quebec has decided only to sell each data survey area separately, rather than selling this data set, containing all of these survey areas, in its entirety.

As a result of this decision, the same data set which previously cost approximately $150.00, now costs approximately $4,000.00 to $5,000.00, as of 1997, when sold as separate areas.

This decision was never widely publicized. I know about it as a result of my continued contact with the"Centre de Diffusion", run by the Quebec government, in Quebec City.

Comments > Quebec