[OSM-legal-talk] Tracing from Google Earth (aerial imagery)

bap b.a.price at open.ac.uk
Wed Jun 3 15:30:39 BST 2009

Apologies if this topic is done and dusted, but I've searched the archives
and the closest thread I can find is inconclusive. I've read (I think) all
the advice about tracing from aerial imagery and about yahoo aerial having
the only legal aerial imagery of the lot. So I had a look at Google Earth's
license and the only relevant sections I could find were about reverse
engineering the code, nothing about using paths that you export from the
application. Here is the scenario I am asking about:

1. I use Google Earth to view aerial images of my home town without having
any of Google's annotations turned on.

2. Because I know my home town so well, I can recognize most of the features
I see. I use the path feature to draw paths along them, around buildings,
natural features, roads and so on.  I give them names meaningful to me.

3. I export the lot as KML files. I pipe the KML files through GPSbabel to
turn them into GPX files.

4. I import the GPX files into JOSM and based on my knowledge of the
features,  I trace roads, buildings, etc. on top of these into OSM.  At no
time have I referred to Google's (or anyone else's) map.

I think I have done the work of recognizing the features from Google's photo
and Google certainly doesn't restrict what I can do with the KML file I
export, so can I use this method to draw OSM maps?

I'm particularly interested in EU/UK law here, but would also love to hear
opinions from other jurisdictions as I have to run a course soon that covers
these topics!


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