Liability insurance and the use of geographical information
Data and information about the location of features on or near the Earth's surface are not without error or uncertainty they can be misrepresented and used for purposes that are inconsistent with their attributes and other characteristics. These difficulties can result in harm to the individual or organization that relies on the material, and the real or perceived possibility of this harm can be an impediment to development, dissemination and the use of geographical information products. The issue then becomes one of whom is liable for this material and how shall this liability be managed. Insurance is already applied as a major mechanism for the management of risk and liability in our everyday lives, and it is a mechanism available to both governments and private organizations alike. This paper presents and discusses the application of liability insurance mechanisms to the special problems of collection, assembly, dissemination and use of geographical information.