[Openstreetmap] Re: Geowiki, OS Popular Series maps & exchanging large datasets
pere at hungry.com
Tue Apr 26 08:49:36 BST 2005
> And finally, if the big guys start using our data, it might force
> national mapping agencies to open up their data in response... which
> has to be good.
I'm also happy with commercial use of the map data I produce. I'm
involved in OpenStreetmap.org in a push to get the government mapping
agency in Norway release their data to the public. I believe the only
way that will happen is if the decision makers in the government
realize that there is more to gain from making the data freely
available than it is to gain from selling it at a high prize.
And to make the decision makers realize that, we need lot of users to
our freely available maps. Enough to make "common people" realize the
gain, and enough to cut down on the income of the mapping agency as
those who would spend money on the "official" maps are now spending
their money elsewhere, and using our free map. And for that to
happen, we need _everybody_ to be able to use our map without
constrains, both commercial and non-commercial users.
I believe in competition, and that the free solution will beat the
non-free solution if the playing field is level. I do not see the
reason to exclude the commercial players from our playing field. We
will be able to gather geo-references information on a volunteer basis
a lot faster than the commercial entities, as those will have to hire
all their hands, while we only need to provide a good base for others
to contribute, and make sure as many people as possible know about our
We are progressing nicely on both fronts. The maps are crude, but are
slowly getting better, and it is slowly getting possible to add extra
information onto the map. I suspect we might get even more
contributors if we added a simple feature like open wifi base stations
or something like that, allowing anyone interested to make a freely
available wifi map by just uploading waypoints.
As it stands now, the streetmap applet is not really usable to find
out anything we didn't know already. We can look at the road, but if
we need that information, we are probably in the area and already know
where the roads are. We just do not have the applications in place to
use the road information yet. But other kind of information, like
restaurants, wifi zones, gas stations, automatic speed checks on the
road and historic sites would make the map directly usable for people
in need of that information.
As for making the project know, we seen to do well too. More and more
people seem to make themselves know on the list, and we have been
getting quite a few articles. I've invited Schuler to Oslo to talk
about free mapping stuff as my try to make this effort known.
Personally, I believe we have been lucky with timing. GPSes are
getting so cheap that a lot of people are buying them. And several of
these people notice the lack of free maps and want to help making such
map. We are here to help them. :)
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