For those interested in an Open map of the world, the Open Streetmap project
has just completed the several month long import of all the TIGER data for the
USA. This gives mappers in the US a great head-start, since now data only
needs to be corrected, rather than newly entered.
See http://www.linux.com/feature/125344 for more info.
The TIGER data is available in the US since data collected using public funds
(i.e. taxes collected from citizens) must be made available to the public.
This is the complete opposite of the UK and Ireland's Ordnance Survey system,
where they collect data using taxes we pay, and then charge us to see any of
that data, with many restrictions applied.
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