[OSM-talk] Cloudmade: "We are the Wikipedia of maps"
frederik at remote.org
Tue Mar 10 23:14:51 GMT 2009
as an OSM community member, I'm taking offence at the following article:
The article says that Cloudmade "relies on its OpenStreetMap project", and:
“This is going to be the map of the future,” says founder Steve Coast of
his company. “We’re the Wikipedia of maps.”
This is of course wrong; OpenStreetMap is no Cloudmade's project, and
Cloudmade is not the Wikipedia of maps.
Further down, the article suggests that Cloudmade money was somehow
related to mapping the world:
"But it’s also a daunting task. The company raised $3.5 million from
Sunstone Capital, but, well, the world is a large place."
"Coast says the goal is to give away the mapping data for free and
charge for services."
Of course, there is no mapping data that Cloudmade could give away for
free because they don't own any.
I know that the press always write what they want (or what they think
they understand) and not necessarily what you tell them. Also, to their
credit, the Cloudmade web page clearly and correctly states that "We
source our map data from OpenStreetMap, the community mapping project
which is making a free map of the world".
However, this is not the first time that the OpenStreetMap project has
been confused with Cloudmade by the press, and I can hardly imagine that
whoever wrote that article did so without relying on Cloudmade
statements that somehow pointed in that direction.
I would appreciate if Cloudmade PR people, especially in the US, would
take more care in explaining the situation to the press, or if that is
too much to ask, then at least refrain from misrepresenting the situation.
If anyone is "the Wikipedia of maps" then it is the OpenStreetMap
project which exists independently of Cloudmade. A very tiny portion of
OpenStreetMap data is acquired during Cloudmade-sponsored events for
which the project is grateful, but that does not give Cloudmade the
right to act as if they own the project.
I know that in the early days of the web, some access providers touted
their dial-in plans as if the web was theirs - "buy our package and get
access to all these cool sites". Maybe it is hard for the public to
understand, but an effort should be made to say that Cloudmade is an
access provider, not a content provider.
I'll try to make it a habit to point this out in the comment boxes of
the relevant web pages if I see articles like that.
Frederik Ramm ## eMail frederik at remote.org ## N49°00'09" E008°23'33"
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