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GeoEthics Awareness Dialogues – Speaking Truth to Power

  • Creator
  • #99004

    Suchith Anand

    Dear colleagues,
    GeoEthics is an important topic that needs more attention and GeoEthics Awareness Dialogues are a way to build and share ideas for developing GeoEthics and ethical business practices. It is important to find the courage to speak out on ethical issues affecting humanity. 
    Is publicly funded Earth Observation (EO) data now being used for benefit of few Billionaire Vendor Owners and shareholders of a handful of big data platforms ? If so, why? 
    More details on how Data Feudalism impacts farmers at   
    The rise of EO Data Feudalism raises many ethical questions:
    Who owns Africa EO Data Portals? What are the costs to be payed per year to the GIS Vendor Owners by African countries and citizens in a few years’ time for accessing EO data and insights? 
    Initially the GIS vendors usually give free subscription for a few years to get governments and users to adopt the vendor’s service and then start charging huge amounts per year . You can get some ideas from the discussions on GIS subscription model costs and GIS Vendor’s Education agenda at
    What is the impact of EO Data Colonialism for African countries and for the people of Africa?
    How does EO Data Feudalism affect CARE Principles?
    Is there any information on how much costs do each government have to pay to GIS vendors each year ? 
    Read this email thread few years back (2015) to get an idea of the wider Geo data and services subscription model costs charged by some GIS vendors . The cost information is for one department in one city in USA ( $15,000 + per year!)
    You can read the full discussion at
    What is the impact of EO Data Feudalism on Humanity? 
    Why there is a need for GeoEthics Awareness Dialogues ?
    “The world has enough for everyone’s needs, but not everyone’s greed.” Mahatma Gandhi 
    There is a need to promote greater understanding of GeoEthics. There has been some information of unethical business practices by some GIS vendors from pay discrimination against female employees to vendor lobbying to racism etc . It is important to find the courage to speak out on ethical issues affecting humanity.
    Details at;416532f.2210
    These GeoEthics Awareness Dialogues are informal and can be part of any meetings, events , conferences etc in the GIS community (for example in Geography Awareness week, GIS Day, GEO meetings , OGC meetings, GEO week etc) to build and share ideas for developing GeoEthics and ethical business practices. 
    Ethical frameworks in governance at all levels (from global to national to local) are important to protect democracy, protect human rights and prevent corruption.
    Best wishes
    Dr Suchith Anand
    Senior Adviser to Governments and International Organisations | Scientist | Board member | Governance | Policy | Consultant in Data Science and Data Ethics | Global Citizen | SDG Volunteer and Advocate

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