Sommaire de la publication

Sommaire de la publication

Devillers, R., Y. BĂ©dard, M. Gervais, 2013, We need to adopt more ethical practices for geographic information data and products dissemination, 2013 AAG Annual Meeting, April 9-13, 2013, Los Angeles, California, USA

Abstract

GIS/Geospatial technologies are increasingly used to support decision-making processes, requiring people that are rarely experts in geographic information to manipulate data of various quality and interpret results from analyses loaded with uncertainty. While methods exist to evaluate and document the quality of geographic information and assess how uncertainty propagates through GIS operations, existing geospatial technologies are known to lack effective approaches to help organizations warn end-users of possible risks that could emerge from using given data or services for given usages in given areas. This problem is known to have led to a number of accidents and other adverse consequences, which are likely to increase as geospatial technologies become pervasive in our everyday life. We argue that in today’s new era of geoproducts mass-market, data producers, web service providers, navigation and GIS vendors are largely failing to move towards a consumer-protection philosophy, and they could improve the ethics with regards to their professional practices. This paper illustrates examples of data misuses that have led to adverse consequences, discusses the nature of the problem that caused it, and describes different approaches that could be used to better support GIS users in the future in their tasks to reduce risks of misuse and possible adverse consequences. Possible solutions discussed will range from improving the communication of quality information, embedding a user context-sensitive warning system in GIS tools, or providing users an access to expert knowledge to better understand possible risks of misuse.