Location Data and Maps

I recently retold a story about a colleague of mine, who back in the very early 2000s asked me to investigate whether there was a satellite image of a particular point of interest to our file. It was certainly the coolest research I had done at that point – finding a source of satellite images to prove or disprove the location of an object…new and very interesting stuff at that time. Given the period in time when this task occurred, the point in my recent story telling was how lawyers that I work with are creative in their use of technology. The lawyer who assigned this task to me didn’t have a computer on his desk back then. He did have the imagination required to understand that combining location data and images would be very useful to his client.

Fast forward to today where open data initiatives include map data, location information embedded into smart phone images and projects to collect street views catch the eye of the privacy conscious.

Are you thinking about location data and map sources when you are thinking about your legal research question?


  1. It is isn’t necessarily for legal research purposes (in fact my present job is not of a law librarian, though I have been one for a number of years in a former life):

    Geospatially mapped information is another whole area for information professionals to become aware of various common tools and how metadata + GIS mapped info. can add value –up to a certain point.

    There can be real partnerships (which have been pioneered in universities) between libraries and GIS functions/services. I currently do business process analysis with several of our GIS depts. Right now, we hope to successfully twin technical drawings that have been mapped on GIS software with a document management software platform. I anticipate some hiccups…