Protection of personal privacy is a significant concern when working with geospatial data. This is because many geospatial datasets include name and address information that individuals do not want to be made widely available. When working with data that contains personal address information it is recommended that researchers thoroughly acquaint themselves with laws that may govern acceptable use of the data. There are, for instance, strict legal guidelines that regulate the use of medical data pertaining to individuals. Consequently, it would not be ethical or legally acceptable to publish a map showing the addresses of individuals based on medical records.
Carolyn Cunningham, Librarian for Sociocultural Geography
Michael Shensky, GIS and Geospatial Data Coordinator
If you are looking for geospatial data that you can download and work with in GIS software, follow the link below to the Finding Geospatial Data Online LibGuide which provides links to major open data portals and recommendations that will help guide you through the process of searching or browsing for geospatial data.
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