Jump to content

 
Photo

Map Making Legalities

- - - - -

  • Please log in to reply
2 replies to this topic

#1
LakeMapper

LakeMapper

    Newbie

  • New Member
  • Pip
  • 1 posts
  • United States

I need to make some lake contour maps for a project I am working on. I've found a few sources of data that can help me make the maps I need but I'm wondering about the legality of using some of the data. Here's what I have:

1. ArcGIS Shape files that contain the bathymetry of lakes in my state.
2. Loads of old lake maps produced by our Department of Game back in the 40's and 50's.
3. Assorted lake maps found on the internet.
4. Map software from retail companies like Lowrance and Garmin that contain lake contours.

This leaves me with multiple questions:

1. Is making maps from freely available GIS data produced by my state gov ok to use?
2. Can I effectively "trace" these old hand drawn depth maps and create a new work from them?
3. Related to the previous question, can I trace maps from unknown authors?
4. Can I use the data derived from others maps, like Garmin and Lowrance, to create even more maps?

I need to know if it's OK to make the maps and/or sell the maps. In the case of the GIS data, I'm creating the maps 100% from scratch. In the other cases, I'm still creating them 100% from scratch, but is getting the DATA to create the new works ok...

#2
Rob

Rob

    Legendary Contributor

  • Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 418 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Kailua, Hawaii
  • Interests:anything outside.
  • United States

[quote name='LakeMapper' date='Feb 21 2009, 11:32 PM' post='22655'
1. Is making maps from freely available GIS data produced by my state gov ok to use?
2. Can I effectively "trace" these old hand drawn depth maps and create a new work from them?
3. Related to the previous question, can I trace maps from unknown authors?
4. Can I use the data derived from others maps, like Garmin and Lowrance, to create even more maps?
[/quote]

1. Yes, people make maps with government data all the time.
2. Yes, if you think they are still accurate (there hasn't been any massive sedimentation, etc.) How effective you are in tracing will depend on your software/hardward setup, patience, and playlist.
3. I'd think so, but if the author is unknown, i'd be suspect about data quality or what else you might not know about it.
4. Depends on the licensing agreement, but if it's a for sale product, i'd guess the answer is no. You'll have to read the fine print.

Not a lawyer here, but I think you should be fine.

#3
Dennis McClendon

Dennis McClendon

    Hall of Fame

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,084 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Chicago
  • Interests:map design, large-scale maps of cities
  • United States

Yes, the US Supreme Court's 1991 Feist decision clarifies that facts cannot be copyrighted. Only the expression of facts, such as the exact placement of labels, typefaces and colors, generalization, etc., can be copyrighted. A quick search for Feist on this forum will turn up some posts I've made in the past that go into greater depth.

In the case of data sets, you may have to also look at what license you might have agreed to in order to acquire or download the data set. This is comparable to software shrink-wrap licenses. Licenses are different from copyright, and are presumed to be conditions to which you freely consented.
Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
chicagocarto.com




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

-->