[OSM-legal-talk] Using Google Street View to perform "virtual survey"

Michael Collinson mike at ayeltd.biz
Mon Apr 7 16:04:58 UTC 2014

I think the License Working Group would echo exactly what Jonathan says.

While it does not solve the problem of being able to map where there are 
no mappers, may I also seize the opportunity to promote John McKerrell's 
excellent OpenStreetView?  It is a great under-exploited tool!


Single photo and bulk upload works well. I am slowly adding my 
collection of 40,000+ OSM survey photos in the hope that other mappers 
will be able squeeze out even more map detail. You can choose from a 
variety of licenses for the actual photo, but the photo metadata is CC0.


On 07/04/2014 17:16, jonathan wrote:
> This is obviously a legal grey area and until it ends up in court I 
> suspect it will remain a grey area.
> However, I feel what IS black and white is that if we were to 
> "officially" use Google StreetView or any non-open source to build our 
> data then we should expect a lawsuit from Google or any other owner of 
> said service/medium/technology.  Also, we should remember that their 
> legal budget will be much bigger than ours.
> In my opinion, we can only have one stance and that is such services 
> are not available for us to use as a source for our database.
> We should, however, approach Google et al and ask them if they 
> prohibit such use, I'm sure they'll say that we can't use it, but at 
> least we'll know.
> To use any such service without express permission risks EVERYTHING, 
> we would be leaving a door open for Google et al to file against us in 
> the future and OSM could just descend into a legal black hole. Google 
> would love that!
> We MUST be whiter than white.  The Open in OpenStreetMap is a 
> responsibility as well as a right and to protect that right we must 
> act responsibly.
> Jonathan
> http://bigfatfrog67.me
> On 05/04/2014 16:50, Paulo Carvalho wrote:
>> Dear fellow mappers,
>>    Let me present myself to you.  I'm a OSM mapper from the Brazil 
>> community and a question rose there which caused a split in the group 
>> regarding Google Street View to perform "virtual surveys", such as 
>> taking notes of house numbers and plotting them in the maps.
>>    After reading 
>> http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Legal_FAQ#2a._Can_I_trace_data_from_Google_Maps.2FNokia_Maps.2F....3F 
>> , I was pondering about the impossibility of copyright and licenses 
>> apply to facts and reality (not regarding philosophical aspects).
>>    Google Street View photos depict reality or facts, thus I could 
>> use them to observe reality and derive interpretations which would be 
>> genuine creative work.  It would be illegal to use the images in 
>> Mapillary, for instance, but the facts depicted by the images are not 
>> property of Google.
>>    Your thoughts, please
>> Paulo Carvalho
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>> https://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/legal-talk
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