[OSM-dev] The Mapper's Plight

Frederik Ramm frederik at remote.org
Thu Jan 25 12:55:00 GMT 2007

The Mapper's Plight

By Frederik Ramm <frederik at remote.org>. Public Domain.


Discovered openstreetmap.org. Tres cool project! They aim to produce  
a free
world map downloadable by everyone. Got an account, downloaded a  
image of my village from Google, uploaded all the streets. Great!


Someone told me that I mustn't use Google satellite imagery and that I
should delete my stuff. Do I look like I can afford my own satellite or


It seems that "GPS traces" are all the rage with the openstreetmap guys.
Bought a GPS and cycled round like crazy. Collected 15,000 GPS points
and uploaded them. Got out my printed map to name the streets properly.


Sigh. It seems as if using a printed map is not en vogue with the  
They say the information from the printed map is copyrighted, and  
I'll have
to write down the names myself. So I'll get my bike out again.


Slightly handicapped by a bruised arm. I fell from the bike trying
to write down a street name while cycling! I think I'll switch to voice


Could not understand my own words on the tape. Resorted to using NATO
alphabet for spelling. People start looking at me.


Found a little street with no name sign whatsoever. Asked the locals  
the name of the street was. One didn't know, one wanted to know what
business of mine this was, and the third took out his printed map to
help me, then proceeded to shout abuse when I explained that I cannot
accept his information as it was copyrighted.


Called city council asking for the name of the little street. They sent
me to the planning office, who offered me a copyrighted printout of
their catastral data, then threatened to call the police when I lost
my temper.


New strategy. Filed a complaint with city council regarding the lack
of street name signs for the little road.

Weeks later.

Received a polite letter saying that they'd consider putting up signs
in their next budget and meanwhile why wouldn't I just look it up on
a map?

Frederik Ramm  ##  eMail frederik at remote.org  ##  N49°00.09' E008°23.33'

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