Legal Issues Relating to GIS

These materials are under development. You may use them, but please acknowledge their source and authors: Margaret Lynch and Kenneth E. Foote, The Geographer's Craft Project, Department of Geography, University of Texas at Austin. Please send comments and suggestions to . All commercial rights reserved.

Legal issues are becoming as important as any other in promoting or limiting the development of GIS technology. Certainly legal considerations must now be kept in mind during the creation and implementation of large public and private GIS projects. Debate focuses on a number of key issues and questions.


1. Public Access

        The Freedom of Information Act

        Open Record Acts

        Two Fundamental Questions Have Arisen

        Agencies Have Three Basic Choices         The Federal Information Reform Act


2. Liability

        Kinds of Liability  

3. Privacy

        Is There a Right to Check and Appeal Information Held in a GIS?

        Can the Government Set Limits on Encryption

4. GIS Data as Evidence


5. Copyrights

        Copyrights and the Value of Public Informtion

6. Readings

7. Examination and Study Questions

Last revised 2014.9.11. KEF