[OSM-dev] Drawing ways with bezier curves rather than linesegments

Dave osm at randomjunk.co.uk
Thu Jan 25 10:03:01 GMT 2007


Andy Robinson wrote:
> I'll stand corrected on this but I recall we had a long discussion on bezier
> curves maybe more than a year ago, a search of the list (probably on talk at
> the time) should find something. One of the issues that was flagged at the
> time was a patent that Navtech has on bezier curves. I think it was one of
> the reasons the idea was dropped quicker than it might otherwise have been.
>   
You can't patent bezier curves, there's prior art. Saying we will use 
bezier curves, /but on a map/, is such a non-patent it isn't even funny. 
And automatically figuring out what curve to use from a series of 
straight lines has been functionality in vector graphics programs for 
donkeys years.

Ignore the contents of the US patent office software patent division or 
else you'll never be able to write any software at all, especially if 
you just read the one line descriptions. This one's a nice example of that:
http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=6686938.PN.&OS=PN/6686938&RS=PN/6686938

Keep the software in Europe and for the moment at least we avoid the 
insanity of requiring an army of lawyers and the backing of a 
multinational to do things which are basic and obvious.

Sorry about the rant :-)
It's hitting a nerve at work.

Dave




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