Mapping the Legal and Policy Boundaries of Digital Cartography
In this era of instantaneous communication, the effective management of locationally-referenced information and its attendant social, legal and policy issues has become an important applied research topic. Over eighty percent of existing digital databases have a locational component and governments, globally, are using location in their planning process as part of what has been called "Spatially Enabling Society." Canada is among the world leaders in geographic information management, having developed one of the first geographic information systems (GIS). The GeoConnections program and the Canadian Geospatial Data Infrastructure of Natural Resources Canada, which manages national mapping datasets, have received international praise. Although these technical matters are advanced in Canada, the same cannot be said for many 'non-technical' issues dealing with legal, ethical and privacy or data protection concerns raised by contemporary uses of geospatial data. A primary goal of this partnership is to address effectively and collaboratively these critical societal challenges to develop a pragmatic regulatory framework for digital data management.
The overall objective of this project is an increased understanding of these issues in the context of the Canadian legal system, with particular reference to impacted communities in Canada's north. Our research will prioritize the development of domestic law and policy, with a clear contextual focus on developments internationally. New knowledge will contribute to better strategies and public policies for mapping Canada in general, and Canada's north in particular. The partners involved are the Geomatics and Cartographic Research Centre (GCRC) at Carleton University; the Centre for Law, Technology and Society (CLTS) at the University of Ottawa and Mapping Information Branch, Earth Sciences Sector of Natural Resources Canada. Each partner brings particular strengths to the research, training and knowledge mobilization.
The three parties bring complementary theoretical and applied research strengths to the project and give it a potential breadth and impact it could not achieve otherwise. A case study approach as a focal point of learning will draw together policy, law and cartography in concrete contexts that will highlight the interaction of all three dimensions and sharpen the analyses, to permit the development of new theories and practices. This will lead to the development of a new regulatory framework for consideration by Natural Resources Canada and 'best practices guidelines' useful to the stakeholders involved in digital cartography.
D. R. F. Taylor has been awarded a SSHRC Partnership Development Grant for two years (11-12, 12-13) for a total of $199,850. The co-applicant is Dr. Teresa Scassa of the Faculty of Law at the University of Ottawa and the partners are GCRC, the Centre of Law, Technology and Culture at the University of Ottawa and the Earth Sciences Sector at Natural Resources Canada. It is anticipated that this grant will lead to a Major Partnership Development grant proposal and preparatory work on this has already begun. Such grants are usually in excess of $1 million. SSHRC has asked us not to publish the Partnership Development grant until it has been announced by the Minister.
Geomatics and Cartographic Research Centre (GCRC)
The GCRC has been creating innovative multimedia atlases in cooperation with northern communities for some years. These include the Kitikmeot Place Names and the Atlas of Arctic Bay. The GCRC has also been actively involved in issues relating to geographic information management from an academic perspective at the national and international level. Two recent research and development projects have been funded by the Government of Canada's International Polar Year Program: The Inuit Sea Ice Use and Occupancy Project (ISIUOP) and A Distributed Data Management System for Northern and Traditional Knowledge will form the basis of case studies for research.
Centre for Law, Technology and Society (CLTS)
The CLTS has considerable legal experience, especially in the areas of data and intellectual property law, indigenous knowledge and property law, licensing, privacy, access to data and related ethical and policy issues. The Centre is involved in the study of legal questions pertaining to the provision and use of geospatial data, and will apply this expertise to the analysis of case studies provided by the GCRC. The Canadian Internet Public Policy and Interest Clinic (CIPPIC) is also involved in this project and dedicates & coordinates some of Canada's top legal interns to this research.
Natural Resources Canada
The Earth Sciences Sector of Natural Resources Canada provides Canadians with the acquisition, interpretation, maintenance and distribution of maps, information, technology, standards and expertise concerning the Canadian landmass and offshore in the fields of geoscience, geodesy, mapping, surveying, and remote sensing. This project is working directly with the Data, Dissemination Division of the Mapping Information Branch.
- Dr. D. R Fraser Taylor, GCRC Director
- Dr. Teresa Scassa, Canada Research Chair in Information Law, CLTS
- Dr. Michael Geist, Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-Commerce, University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law
- Dr. Chidi Oguamanam, CLTS
- Dr. Elizabeth Judge, CLTS
- David Fewer, CLTS & CIPPIC
- David Harper, Director, Data Dissemination, Natural Resources Canada (NRCan)
- Paula McLeod, Data Dissemination, Natural Resources Canada (NRCan)
- Simon Riopel, Data Dissemination, Natural Resources Canada (NRCan)
- Amos Hayes, GCRC Technical Director
- Dr. Tracey P. Lauriault, GCRC Post Doctoral Fellow
- Nate J. Engler, GCRC PhD Candidate
- Adam Saunders, Juris Doctor (JD) Candidate (Common Law), CLTS, Ottawa University
- Adam is currently working for Professor Scassa, researching copyright, trademark, and database right issues in maps that are created on top of geographical information systems provided by third-parties (particularly, Google, Esri, and OpenStreetMap). He is passionate about open source, open access, open data, and free culture.
- Tenille Brown, doctoral candidate in the faculty of law at the University of Ottawa,
- Tenille is researching land and property law with a critical geography and critical language perspective. In addition to her doctoral research, Tenille continues to work in Ottawa as a legal advisor on a law & development project concerning legal aid, as well as providing legal support to Swazi refugees. Before starting her PhD, Tenille most recently worked in Swaziland as a legal officer in a national human rights organisation. Previously she has worked as a consultant in the areas of international labour law and the right to development. Tenille holds an LLM from the University of Ottawa in the field of Aboriginal law and an LLB (Scots law) from the University of Dundee, Scotland.
- Laura Crestohl, BCL/LLB Candidate, McGill University
- Laura is a 2nd-year student at McGill University's Faculty of Law. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies from Concordia University, as well as a Master of Arts degree in Media Studies from the New School in New York City. Her research interests include the intersection of culture, technology and the law, including intellectual property, privacy, and liability issues.
- Paul Holden, BSc, and LLB/BCL candidate, McGill University
- Paul is a software developer with eight years' experience, primarily in the network security field. He is currently studying law at McGill. His interests include civil liberties online and the relationship between law and culture. Previously he also worked at the Legal Assistance Centre in Namibia and the Lotus Educational Foundation in China.
Publications & Presentations
Articles in Peer-Reviewed Journals
Engler, Nate J., Teresa Scassa, & D. R. Fraser Taylor, 2013, Mapping Traditional Knowledge: Digital Cartography in the Canadian North, Cartographica.
Scassa, Teresa, Nate J. Engler, D. R. Fraser Taylor, 2013, Legal Issues in Mapping Traditional Knowledge: Digital Cartography in the Canadian North, The Cartographic Journal.
Lauriault, T. P. and D. R. Fraser Taylor, 2013, The Map as a Fundamental Source in the Memory of the World, UNESCO The Memory of the World in the Digital age: Digitization and Preservation.
Saunders, A., T. Scassa, T. P. Lauriault, 2012, Legal Issues in Maps Built on Third Party Base Layers, Geomatica, 66(4): 279-290, 10.5623/cig2012-054.
Engler, Nate J. ; D. R. Fraser Taylor and Teresa Scassa, 2014, Cybercartography and Volunteered Geographic Information, Chapter 4 in Developments in the Theory and Practice of Cybercartography: Applications and Indigenous Mapping, Elsevier.
Hayes, Amos; Glenn Brauen, J. P. Fiset, Peter L. Pulsifer, 2014, The technological Framework for Cybercartographic Atlases, Chapter 9 in Developments in the Theory and Practice of Cybercartography: Applications and Indigenous Mapping, Elsevier.
Browne, Timothy Di Leo and Gita Ljubicic, 2014, Considerations for informed consent in the context of online, interactive, atlas creation, Chapter 18 in Developments in the Theory and Practice of Cybercartography: Applications and Indigenous Mapping, Elsevier.
Scassa, Teresa, D.R. Fraser Taylor and Tracey P. Lauriault, 2014, Cybercartography and Traditional Knowledge: Responding to Legal and Ethical Challenges, Chapter 19 in Developments in the Theory and Practice of Cybercartography: Applications and Indigenous Mapping, Elsevier.
Lauriault, Tracey P. and D. R. Fraser Taylor, (Fortcoming 2014), Archiving and Preserving Cybercartography, Chapter 21 in Developments in the Theory and Practice of Cybercartography: Applications and Indigenous Mapping, Elsevier.
Scassa, Teresa, 2013, Acknowledging Copyright's Illegitimate Offspring: User-Generated Content and Canadian Copyright Law, in M. Geist, ed.,The Copyright Pentalogy: How the Supreme Court of Canada Shook the Foundations of Canadian Copyright Law, (Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press, 2013) pp. 431-453. This chapter was featured on IP Osgoode's IPilogue, August 7, 2013.
Papers & Presentations at Conferences
Scassa, Teresa; Fraser Taylor, Tracey P. Lauriault, Nate J. Engler and David Fewer, 2013, Ethical Mapping of Traditional Knowledge Through Template Licences. American Association of Geographers, Annual Conference, Los Angeles, California, April 13, 2013.
Scassa, Teresa, D. R. Fraser Taylor and Tracey P. Lauriault, 2012, Challenges of Managing Data on Traditional Knowledge: A Case Study from the Canadian North presented at the CODATA 2012: Open Data and Information for a Changing Planet, Taiwan.
Scassa, Teresa, Fraser Taylor, and Nate Engler, 2012, Traditional knowledge and "volunteered" geographic information: digital cartography in the Canadian North, Presentation at the Legal, Economic and Institutional Challenges II session, GSDI 13, Tuesday May 15.
Skedsmo, M., D.R.F. Taylor O. Palmer, and M. Guðmundsson, 2012, Arctic Spatial Data Infrastructure: PanArctic Cooperation among Ten Mapping Agencies GSDI 13, Quebec city, May 14.
Skedsmo, M., D.R.F. Taylor O. Palmer, and M. Guðmundsson, 2012, Arctic Spatial Data Infrastructure: PanArctic Cooperation among Ten Mapping Agencies, IPY 2012 Conference: From Knowledge to Action, Montreal, 24 April.
Hayes, Amos, Jean-Pierre Fiset and D. R. Fraser Taylor, 2012, Nunaliit Ap for Ingesting Stories from the Land/Sea/Ice (Shhh it's Data Management) IPY 2012 Conference: From Knowledge to Action, Polar Science Goes Digital Session, Montreal, 27 April. (Funded by IPY Data Management grant - Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development and informed by this project)
Hayes, Amos and D. R. Fraser Taylor, 2012, Accessing, Sharing and Preserving Data as a Legacy of IPY, IPY 2012 Conference: From Knowledge to Action, Deploying a Distributed Data Management Network for Local and Traditional Knowledge Session, Montreal, 24 April. (Funded by IPY Data Management grant - Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development and informed by this project).
Popular Media Articles
Geist, Michael, April 13, 2012, Canada Post Files Copyright Lawsuit Over Crowdsourced Postal Code Database.
Workshops & Seminars
July 10, 2013, Lauriault, T. P., Data, Infrastructure and Mapping. CIPPIC Summer Workshop Series, Ottawa University, July 10.
July 10, 2013, Scassa, T., Data, Maps, Location and Law. CIPPIC Summer Workshop Series, Ottawa University, July 10.
Nov. 14, 2012, Mapping The Legal Boundaries of Digital Cartography: Surveying the legal terrain and charting the course, (Full proceedings)
Sept. 12, 2012, Chidi Ouguamanam from the Centre of Law, Technology and Society gave a 2 hour seminar to Natural Resources Canada entitled Off and On Record: Lessons in the Transformations of Traditional Knowledge (TK) -From "Innately Local to Wholly Global".
May 30, 2012, CIPPIC Summer Speaker Series: Data, Maps, Location and Law, Tracey P. Lauriault and Teressa Scassa.
May 14, 2012, Scassa, Teresa 2012, Panelist at the VGI Legal and Ethical Issues, GSDI 13 Post Conference Friday Workshop, Quebec City. D. R. Fraser Taylor was a participant at this all day workshop.
May 11, 2012, Workshop at CIPPIC to introduce the 2012 Summer Legal Interns to the legal issues in participatory mapping, data sharing, consent, and GCRC data collection technological developments (e.g., I.Pad app). Workshop speakers: David Fewer, CIPPIC Director; Tamir Israel, CIPPIC Staff Lawyer; Tracey P. Lauriault, GCRC Post Doctoral Fellow; Amos Hayes, GCRC Technical Manager; Timothy Di Leo Browne, PhD Candidate, School of Canadian Studies, Carleton University and CIPPIC Summer of 2012 Interns.
Sept. 14, 2012, CIPPIC Offices, Meeting to Review the CIPPIC TK Licence, in attendance were Gita Ljubicic, Amos Hayes, Teresa Scassa, Chidi Ouguamanam, Kent Mewhort, and David Fewer.
June & July, 2012, One on One research visits between Tracey P. Lauriault and research partners. Individuals meetings with David Fewer, Michael Geist, Teresa Scassa, Elizabeth Judge and Chidi Ouguamanam, Simon Riopel and Paula Rojas. To assess progress and transdisciplinary research exchanges.
Spring 2012, Teresa Scassa, Amos Hayes and Tim Di Leo Browne, traveled to Nunavut to meet and consult with research stakeholders.
Jan. 11, 2012, GCRC lab, with Simon Riopel from Natural Resources Canada, Teresa Scassa CLTS, Elizabeth Judge, DRF Taylor, Amos Hayes, Nate J. Engler.
Dec 14., 2011 Natural Resources Canada Offices with David Harper, D.R. Fraser Taylor, Teresa Scassa CLTS, and Nate J. Engler.
Sep. 26th, 2011, Project Meeting. GCRC Laboratory. DRF Taylor, Amos Hayes, Teresa Scassa, David Fewer, Michael Geist, Chidi Oguamanam, Nate J. Engler.
Aug. 22-26th, 2011, Trip to Nunavut by Teresa Scassa CLTS, Timothy Di Leo Browne, Canadian Studies and Amos Hayes, GCRC.
CIPPIC and GCRC, 2013, Traditional Knowledge Licencing: Final consultation report.
Mewhort, Kent and David Fewer, 2012, Traditional Knowledge Licencing: DRAFT consultation report.
Lauriault, Tracey P., 2012, Atlas Authorship in Cybercartography, submitted to Elizabeth Judge for her forthcoming paper on Copyright and Joint Authorship in Cartography.
Browne, Timothy Di Leo , 2012, Consent and Ethics on Local and Traditional Knowledge in the Internet Era: Some Key Questions, School of Canadian Studies, Carleton University. Funded by the: The Canadian International Polar Year Federal Program; and the Partnership Development Grant, Tim traveled to the North in August 22nd to 26th with Teresa Scassa, CLTS and Amos Hayes, GCRC to consult with the stakeholders.
Lauriault, Tracey P., and Teresa Scassa, 2013-2014, Advisory members to the Natural Resources Canada Canadian Geomatic Round Table - Legal and Policy Dimension Task Team.
Lauriault, Tracey P., 2013-present, Member of the Research Data Alliance CODATA Legal Interoperability Interest Group.
Lauriault, Tracey P., 2013, Participant of the Treasury Board Secretariat of Canada Open Data Round Table.
Lauriault, T. P., 2011, Invited speaker and Submission to Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics: Study on Open Government, February 14, 2011.
(Fortcoming 2014), Mapping The Legal Boundaries of Digital Cartography: Surveying the legal terrain and charting the course, CLTS Podcast of the workshop.