Licences and Open Data in Cartography

  • Alena VondrakovaEmail author
  • Vit Vozenilek
Part of the Lecture Notes in Geoinformation and Cartography book series (LNGC)


Cartographic production and publishing are related to many aspects including data availability and legislative requirements. They are highly relevant to the map making process from its beginning to the possibility of extending the final step. The modern trends of Open Data have a significant impact on the development of cartography and its essential part—knowledge of licences. Intellectual property is crucial in the era of the information society. Unfortunately, the debate over the appropriate scope of intellectual property protection for spatial data and geodatabases mostly ignores the role of cartography and spatial data uniqueness in the setting of the rights. The law essentially requires the authorization to apply the right to use a work (licence) to another person. There are possible arrangements and licensing agreements where no such authorization is needed (open licences), in some cases is it also possible to use authors work in situations prescribed by law. In most instances it is, however, necessary to know licensing rules to allow practical work with data sources and work disclosure. Knowledge of licensing becomes essential for the process of contemporary cartographic production. Spatial digital data are often under copyright protection as geodatabases. Due to the territoriality of copyright protection, it is very important to know the specific licence terms and conditions. The uniqueness of spatial data compared to other information, is that it is often necessary to combine different data sources. Moreover, it is the combination of the various data sources that often cause a problem because of the requirement for separate licences.


Licences Copyright law Cartography Data 



This contribution was implemented within project “Increasing of effectiveness of copyright protection in cartography and geoinformatics” TD020320, co-financed by Technology Agency of the Czech Republic. The authors also gratefully acknowledge the support by the Operational Program Education for Competitiveness—European Social Fund, project CZ.1.07/2.3.00/20.0170 of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic.


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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geoinformatics, Faculty of SciencePalacký University OlomoucOlomoucCzech Republic

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