[OSM-talk] Good routing vs legal routing
frederik at remote.org
Tue Dec 1 02:11:14 GMT 2009
>> Existing commercial routing applications take the easy way out by excluding
>> anything that is not legal. I hope we won't!
> Interesting. I don't know if I agree with that or not. I certainly
> don't want to be involved in a project which encourages people to
> break the law, since encouraging people to break the law is in itself
> against the law where I live.
My basic tenet is that we should be providing information, not guidance.
We should certainly not encourage people to break the law, but we're not
in the business of discouraging them from doing so either!
(This is of course bordering on the philosophical since I believe that
one could say that we actively encourage the Chinese to break their
laws; at least we have numerous web pages suggesting you should take a
GPS, map roads, and upload traces to our server! Now... is that against
the law where you live? Would it be against the law if it were not China
but a friendly western nation?)
In most jurisdictions, laws are not absolute; they will always have some
default clause somewhere that basically says that you may break a law in
an emergency, or to avert danger, or whatever. This applies on a small
scale (taking a highway exit marked "police cars only" when you're
driving an injured person to hospital) as well as on a large scale
(blowing up a bridge to stop a bunch of evil terrorists). A routing
application that will not let you use the "police cars only" exit under
any circumstances is next to worthless in an emergency - it is outright
dangerous, if we consider how navigations systems are more and more
replacing (the need for) local knowledge.
> But beyond that, I don't know. If you can do it in a way that
> neutrally maps reality "surface=X, grade=X, etc." I guess I don't
Yes. It makes a huge difference if something is "not accessible" because
there is a sign that says you mustn't or if it is "not accessible" due
to a concrete wall ;-)
Frederik Ramm ## eMail frederik at remote.org ## N49°00'09" E008°23'33"
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