The suit that forced the county to release its "Geographic Information System" or GIS data was filed by the California First Amendment Coalition, which said in a press release that the information will enable journalists to do reporting that would not otherwise be possible:
- or example, reporters and bloggers could write stories that assess whether poor neighborhoods are being shortchanged for road repairs. Data on crime statistics, census information, political party affiliations, campaign contributions, environmental hazards and school test score results could be analyzed to spot trends and to test the validity of government policy assumptions and prescriptions.
- “This landmark decision vindicates our view that government agencies may not claim exclusive control over records that are created with tax dollars ... While we encourage agencies to create databases and adapt public records to new technologies, the resulting applications cannot be run as monopoly businesses,” Scheer said.