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NYS ITS GIS Program Office

Geographic Information Systems Clearinghouse

Data Sharing Cooperative



The NYS GIS Data Sharing Cooperative is a group of governmental entities and not-for-profit organizations that have executed Data Sharing Agreements for the purpose of improving access to GIS data among members.

The Data Sharing Cooperative was primarily developed to encourage public agencies in New York to share in the creation, use, and maintenance of GIS data sets at the least possible cost. Two key features of the Data Sharing Cooperative are:

  • Data creators (primary custodians) retain ownership of their GIS data sets, but agree to share it with other Cooperative members for free or, at most, for the cost of copying it; and
  • Users of the GIS data (secondary custodians) pass updates, corrections, and revisions back to the creators of the data set, resulting in improved data quality.

For more details, see NYS GIS Data Sharing Cooperative Models of Collaboration.

Cooperative Members

All State agencies must participate in the Cooperative. A standard license, called the NYS GIS Cooperative Data Sharing Agreement, was sent to all NYS agencies to sign in September of 1997.

The standard license was adapted for local governments in January 1998. Local government agencies are not required to join the Cooperative. By signing a Data Sharing Agreement for Local Governments, government agencies at the town, village, city, county or regional level may join the Cooperative. Federal government agencies and not-for-profit organizations may also join the Cooperative.

If you represent one of the above eligible entities, you may request a copy of the agreement from

When they sign the Data Sharing Agreement, Cooperative members must designate a GIS contact person and, if they have GIS data sets, submit an inventory of them. Members are also asked to create metadata describing their GIS datasets for inclusion in the NYS GIS Clearinghouse's Metadata Repository. The Clearinghouse will serve as the information gateway for the Cooperative.

See the Participants and GIS Data Inventories for a current list of Cooperative members. For more information about joining the Cooperative or to request a Data Sharing Agreement, contact:

Frank Winters
NYS ITS GIS Program Office
1220 Washington Avenue
Building 5 - Floor 1
Albany, NY 12226
Phone: 518-242-5029

Additional Information

For additional information about the NYS GIS Data Sharing Cooperative, see these documents: