[OSM-talk] License plan
S.L.Chilton at mdx.ac.uk
Wed Mar 4 12:24:03 GMT 2009
I am not at all happy about how this sub-thread has developed into the realms of suggesting cartographers are somehow "bad guys" in this licence context. Richard correctly identifies me as one of the few cartographers working within the OSM project. However I am not, and never have been, a commercial cartographer. I prefer to be seen as a professional cartographer (in both senses of the word), or can live with traditional cartographer (as opposed to all the neo-cartographers) - and have worked in Higher Education rather than commercial cartography. Anyone that knows me will know that I have contributed in several ways to OSM (/resists temptation to list ....) and have never wanted or expected any payback or to "take advantage of other OSM players".
Having said all that, my real point is that I know a lot of "traditional" cartographers (some in a commercial environment and some not) and have observed an actual reluctance to consider using OSM data. This might be surprising given that OSM has always said "OpenStreetMap creates and provides free geographic data such as street maps to anyone who wants them. The project was started because most maps you think of as free actually have legal or technical restrictions on their use, holding back people from using them in creative, productive, or unexpected ways" [top of homepage]. My perception is that there are two things that stop this:
Firstly, there seems to be either a misunderstanding of what the licence currently means, or a feeling that it is not possible to work within it's current terms.
Secondly (and not directly relevant to this debate) the barriers to getting usable data from the DB. The Export tab offers XML format data (not a natural format for say an Illustrator user to encompass). Digging deeper gives the possibility of raw data or shape files from geofabrik, or cloudmade - giving those two plus formats such as Garmin, Navit and TomTom. And yes commercial cartographers can go to either of these named companies to pay for customised data output if they wish.
I am hopeful (being of a fundamentally optimistic outlook by nature) that some resolution to the current licence issue will actually allow ALL cartographers to realise the fundamental aims of the project, and that we will see more and more innovative maps produced from this superb data source by both traditional and neo-cartographers.
Steve Chilton, Learning Support Fellow
Manager of e-Learning Academic Development
Centre for Educational Technology
phone/fax: 020 8411 5355
email: steve8 at mdx.ac.uk
Chair of the Society of Cartographers: http://www.soc.org.uk/
SoC conference 2008:
From: talk-bounces at openstreetmap.org [mailto:talk-bounces at openstreetmap.org] On Behalf Of Richard Fairhurst
Sent: 03 March 2009 23:17
To: talk at openstreetmap.org
Subject: Re: [OSM-talk] License plan
OJ W wrote:
> [routing source code]
> I saw that as a bit of a loophole in the license which is unfortunate
> but rather difficult to close
Ok, that's consistent. Extreme, perhaps, but consistent. But:
> we can just declare that it should meet sharelike standards to
> ensure that OSM players are not trying to take advantage of
> each other.
is inordinately offensive.
As far as I know there are only two "OSM players" who are commercial
cartographers in some way (though for neither of us is it our main job): me
and Steve Chilton. To allege that we are aiming to take advantage of other
contributors is, yes, offensive, but also insane beyond belief. You might
not like Potlatch, you might not trace from NPE or ever use any traced data,
you might never use the Mapnik layer. But there is no denying that all three
of them are very major contributions to OSM without any - _any_ - payback.
Meanwhile, the guys releasing the routing software are, er, the ones who've
got €2.4m of venture capital. I don't begrudge them that - quite the
contrary. I don't think anyone does. But you might want to open your eyes.
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