[OSM-talk] License plan
richard at systemed.net
Tue Mar 3 15:41:48 GMT 2009
Ed Avis wrote:
> What you wrote above is a very good argument for it.
> Rendering the data into a printed map is not a great deal of effort.
> Anyone can do it and many already do so. There are not many
> people who would be put off from rendering maps by being unable to
> make the result proprietary. The copyleft requirement is pretty trivial
> and doesn't create disincentives to rendering a map, because
> rendering a map is so easy.
I think you're approaching that from a very programmatic perspective, and
this confirms it:
> (In any case, even though you can freely copy a PNG file of a map
> or photocopy a page, and even though you can see for yourself what
> colour scheme was used, you don't have the program code that was
> used to render the ways and the text, which is the hard part.
No, no, no, no, no, no.
It might be easy to do an automated rendering. That's not what I'm talking
about. What concerns me is hand-drawn cartography. The "program code" for
that, in my case, is something like Inkscape or Adobe Illustrator, which
anyone can have - but that's incidental.
I spend days on getting the cartography right for the maps we produce in the
magazine every month. It isn't "rendering". It's entirely done by hand.
Getting the label placement right, choosing the colour set, working on the
pull-outs, generalising features so that they don't collide but the user
doesn't notice the distortion: that _is_ a great deal of effort. I try to
aspire to OS Landranger quality of cartography, not MapQuest!
(There's no OSM data in there - and conversely, OSM doesn't have all that
data either; and even if the maps were CC-BY-SA, which they weren't, the
generalisation is such that CC-BY-SA doesn't give much useful return to the
Believe me, I first wrote a passable routing program with reasonably decent
weighting at the age of 19 or so (heh, I found a review -
http://www.thecompclub.org.uk/newsletters/12.pdf), and it was a whole host
more trivial than the n years of experience that have, I hope, given me the
skills to design attractive maps.
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