[OSM-dev] Cloudmade routing for OSM rails_port site.

Nick Black nickblack1 at gmail.com
Thu Apr 30 13:42:04 BST 2009

On Thu, Apr 30, 2009 at 10:47 AM, Sander Hoentjen <sander at hoentjen.eu>wrote:

> On Thu, 2009-04-30 at 09:03 +0100, Nick Black wrote:
> >
> > Surely the biggest victory for any open source project is to squash
> > its competitors and completely change the game?  Few open source
> > projects have achieved this.  In 5 years time, the entire concept
> > of proprietary maps created by guys in vans could be a thing of the
> > past.  OpenStreetMap and our way of doing things will have completely
> > wiped the floor with our competitors.  We can only get to this point
> > if we stop thinking of ourselves as a small, specialist community and
> > start to think of ourselves as a mainstream movement that caters for
> > the needs of everyone - not just the free software world.
> >
> But still, If you want an *open source* project to "squash its
> competitors and completely change the game" Then in my opinion you need
> to do that with *open source*.

You have to see that there's a dividing line though.  On one side of the
line - we use Yahoo! imagery that is powered by proprietary software.  And
we also use handheld GPS units that are powered by proprietary software.  It
would be insane to turn away Yahoo or ban contributions from Garmin units
because the firmware is not open source. On the other side of the line there
is the server software that gets better because its open source - if it was
not open source, people might not contribute to the code.

We have to be pragmatic when we assert opinions and ideals and ask ourselves
if what we are considering will help or hinder OSM in the long run.  Do we
really think that having routing from a non-open source will hurt OSM more
than it will benefit OSM?

> So while I do agree with routing being a
> good showcase and attraction to the project, I think this project is
> only succeeding in it's goals because of the open source nature, and we
> need to protect that.
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Nick Black
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