GoopenStreetMaple: Information wants to be free

Ralph Straumann

Ralph is a world-citizen, a geoinformation specialist by profession, and interested in many topics. Here, he'll confine himself mostly to things geo-visual.

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4 Responses

  1. Kate Chapman says:

    Ralph, I do think that at the moment many people don’t care about the license. But what about the point where they do? After putting hours and hours into mapping their surroundings is it fair to have to do it again? The license is proving unacceptable over and over again in different parts of the world. Sure some ignore the license, but what happens when they get too big for that…

    • Ralph says:

      Yes, Kate, I agree that the current license is bad and I would never use Map Maker as long as that license stands. But the license is at least straightforward and it is not hidden in legal-ese who owns what (that’s a small ‘at least’). I think bashing Google for that license is one thing, but I think we also need to acknowledge that so far we as open data promoters have unfortunately failed to educate many people about Google’s geodata license and its meaning for their mapping efforts.

  2. Mark says:

    I’ve read the various blogs and comments around this and whilst I don’t like Google’s T&Cs they are a business after all and the bottom line is that they have to make money! We have to aknowledge that they have moved geography out to the masses and enabled ordinary people to focus on geography as a means to convey issues, information etc etc.
    OSM is a far superior map and data being freely available helps many people in a way that wouldn’t have happened had they not been in existance. However, in well developed economies people generally have the means to buy equipment and go out and capture data. Less developed parts of the world struggle to maintain daily life, let alone capture their environment for mapping purposes and what government in this situation would not jump at the chance to have their environment mapped for free?

    The balance has to be economic ie which is the greater benefit? I know what I’d choose if it was between waiting (possibly for years) for enthusiastic citizens to map the country against a multi-national mapping company offering the infrastructure and resourses for nout!

    To plan for a countries future needs you need data, and sooner rather than later. Don’t blame Google for stepping in and finding a business opportunity when there is no viable alternative!

  1. 28 February 2012

    […] GoopenStreetMaple: Information wants to be free, a post on OpenStreetMap and Google Map Maker license terms – a topic which is prone to spark interest and discussion in the geo-crowdsourcing community. […]

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