Geodata Cost Recovery: Eaton County

I was pointed out to Eaton County’s GIS Data Prices last night, and all I can say is how disappointed I am that people can still feel that this is an appropriate way to fleece their taxpayers. The data is collected, reproduction costs for the data are probably in the realm of a couple hundred bucks — less, if you just distribute them online. (Clearly, you already have a website.) Yet you charge twelve *thousand* dollars for copies — and even after that, you’re still limited in what you can do.

This kind of thing is just a damn shame. Taxpayers should insist that this data is made available at reasonable reproduction costs; the policies of GIS departments to make money off of these things is simply silly so long as they are collected with taxpayer dollars.

(If the GIS department does not receive state funding, then I suppose this type of cost recovery makes sense — in the same way that Sanborn or any other commercial entity would charge for it. However, I doubt that the primary client of such data isn’t the state itself, in which case it’s still taxpayer dollars covering the costs somewhere…)

One Response to “Geodata Cost Recovery: Eaton County”

  1. Chris Schierkolk Says:

    With the downturn in the economy I bet you will begin to see more and more of this type of thing. Municipalities will start cutting budget more and more and this could be a small income stream.