Bruce Joffe, GISP, is a GIS consultant who advised the California First Amendment Coalition. He organized the Open Data Consortium which provides information and services to help resolve issues surrounding access to public information. Joffe can be reached at GIS.Consultants@joffes.com.
A three-year lawsuit to enforce California's Public Record Act (PRA) finally concluded in late August with Santa Clara County substantially reducing the price it charges for its digital parcel basemap. While some surveyors may still argue that their private stash of control monuments is their source of revenue, most today acknowledge that compiling this information in a supervised manner and sharing it benefits everyone a lot more.