Interest Group Note: The Responsible Use of Spatial Data

The Spatial Data on the Web Interest Group has published a Group Note of The Responsible Use of Spatial Data. This note highlights some of the unique characteristics of spatial data within the broader realm of ethical use of data. A brief analysis of the relationship between law and ethics explains that responsible use is not mandatory. Nevertheless, both legal and ethical frameworks play an important role in shaping what can be considered “responsible”. As do the perspectives of those who interact closely with spatial data: the developers, the users and the regulators. Therefore this note not only provides an insight into the relevant legislation and ethics guidelines, but also considers the principles of ethical data sharing from each of these three perspectives. The principles are made practical by providing concrete communication guidelines and showing examples of good practice.