Canada drops licences and adopts free model for map data

In a Guardian article by Charles Arthur the recent decision by Natural Resources Canada to release maps and other data free from the Geogratis portal is looked at as an example the UK should follow.

I am also hoping that other Canadian department and agencies will follow as well. We need an alternative to the extremely expensive PCFRF file which Statistics Canada sells. For the needs of our community we only need the simple mapping from postal codes to electoral districts, something that would appear to fall within the mandate of Elections Canada which already freely distributes quite a bit of other interesting data. (See the various downloads from the 39th General Election (January 23, 2006)).