GeoDRM: Worst. Idea. Ever.

I lurk on the Mapbuilder email list and am growing uneasy at the project's flirtation with GeoDRM. In the wake of Sony's anti-customer technology meltdown the string "DRM" makes reasonable people shudder, but GeoDRM proponents soldier obliviously on. Five months after its release, I finally made the time to read the GeoDRM final report jointly produced by the FGDC, GeoData Alliance, and OGC. My conclusion is that it won't happen for at least four reasons. GeoDRM, as proposed, is:

  • Overly complex

  • Backwards-looking

  • Poorly researched

  • Unnecessary


Re: GeoDRM: Worst. Idea. Ever.

Author: Bryan

I'm not sure that the geodrm strand is going the right way either. But I do think there is good reason for access control for GIS resources exposed using OWS ... not least because some requests generate significant server side processing which one might (ok, does) need to control when one expects significant hits ... and also because some data can be restricted in distribution for other than financial reasons (often folk are willing to share, but not til they've got the low hung fruit within their distributed team, and I think that's fair enough). So, if one removes the DRM badness, and just thinks about constraining usage to what is manageable and fair, then it's not all bad ... For me, I think the way to do is simple, the outline concept is at

Re: GeoDRM: Worst. Idea. Ever.

Author: James Fee

What, no Comic Book Guy graphic?

Re: GeoDRM: Worst. Idea. Ever.

Author: Sean

Sorry, James, DRM sends my sense of humor packing. Bryan, you've inspired me to write a bit more on the subject. Access control is a good thing, and there are a lot of good options for geo purposes. People should think twice before inventing new ones.