[OSM-legal-talk] Interesting use case of combining OSM with proprietary data

Rory McCann rory at technomancy.org
Fri Jan 12 11:18:05 UTC 2018

As near as I can see, the only data they are distributing (publicly) is
the 2 GeoTIFF files in the "map.ox.ac.uk" page. The question is: Is a
GeoTIFF file created like this from OSM data which has been mixed with
other data, a Produced Work, or a Derived Database?

In support of "Produced Work", GeoTIFF is (on paper) *literally* an
image file format. Images (AFAIK) based on OSM data have always been
viewed as produced works, so this shouldn't be different.

In support of "Derived Database", these GeoTIFFs do feel like a
database. The files don't have any artistic styling, they are basically
a 2D arrangement of numbers, you can import it into a geo database (like
PostGIS), you can query the file for "what's the value at this point?",
it's only useful if you decide to style it as you decide. The project
itself has used one of these GeoTIFFs as input data for another process,

IMO these GeoTIFF files are (overwhelmingly) more like a database than
an image.

*But* (possibly stupid question time) I'm reading the ODbL and it (Sec
4.6) only requires that you make the derived database available *or* the
original scripts, and original contents. By releasing the GeoTiff
file(s) they've fulfilled Sec 4.6(a), no? Isn't that enough for the 
share-alike aspect? And they aren't required to release all the other
original (Google) data?

Obviously if it's a Derived Database, they need to release it under the
ODbL licence (or similar). The page says CC-BY and that isn't right at all.

On 11/01/18 16:30, Christoph Hormann wrote:
> Today i stumbled across this:
> https://map.ox.ac.uk/research-project/accessibility_to_cities/
> http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.1038/nature25181
> https://explorer.earthengine.google.com/#detail/Oxford%2FMAP%2Faccessibility_to_cities_2015_v1_0
> Apart from partly insufficient attribution (which i already contacted
> the author about) this is an interesting case example of combining OSM
> with proprietary data sets i would like to hear some opinions about.
> What is done here is combining road information (and some other data)
> from OSM and proprietary data sources (Google) into a raster map (made
> available as 'friction surface' under the first link above) and doing
> further processing, analysis and map rendering based on that and
> publishing the result.
> My interpretation of the ODbL here is that this is a share-alike case
> that would require the combined data sources to be made available.  But
> you could probably also look at it differently.  I would like to hear
> opinions on this.  In particular if you think that is legally possible
> without share alike how this interpretation looks like.

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