August 28, 2006

At 6:49 pm the $1600 ransom was met for the free the maps (DRG) effort

Kudos to map ransom for meeting his quota and getting all the ransom money he needed to free the DRGs. I'll be curious to see how free and available these data will actually be. Our company actually purchased Colorado DRGs from them to help with the effort - way to go Marc! See - I'd say that mapransom owes a bit thanks to James and all the geobloggers who help spread the word as there's no way on Earth he could have done this in one day without that exposure. I'll be curious to see how long in takes to archive the entire DRG collection as there are thousands of files to get onto the server. Also, I hate to be a sceptic but when you look at things this way, the GIS community just paid someone $1600 to have access to publicly available, free DRGs which are all available for free download via a number of mechanisms. Granted, people that paid, er... donated a small fee to get DVDs containing their DRGs got a relatively good deal but didn't they just pay for free data? Isn't the ransom project all about not having to pay for free data? Something else to consider, I was looking around the site for info about the developer, JAred... I stumbled onto this piece of info in the who am I section... "Although I'm an extreme GIS neophyte, I'm starting to get a hold of some of the quadzillion concepts and acronyms. " So, once again, i hate to be a skeptic but the community just paid $1600 to this dude because he's promised to make these data freely available. Of note... does anyone out there have the USGS DEMs that they purchased - obviously, since these data are also being held for ransom by several USGS biz partners! If anyone there has the DEMs and wants to make them available please let me know or contact Jared at ransom as I'm sure he'd try to get them archived as well.

1 comment:

Richard Rupp said...

Having the DRGs available in one place will be useful.....I guess. I frequently use DRGs as basemaps because clients request them and in some situations they are agency requirements. In Washington State they have been available for years from the U. of WA - both in native format and with the collar stripped off for easy mosaics.

I thought maybe I was spoiled, so I looked for DRGs in a couple of random rural areas of the US where I haven't worked before. I used the NRCS's Geospatial Data Gateway ( and quickly found the DRGs I was looking for along with a number of other related datasets & imagery.

I hope beginning GIS users will find this new archive useful, but it's sure not how I would have spent $1600.