[Osmf-talk] "ArcGIS supports Openstreetmap"

Mikel Maron mikel_maron at yahoo.com
Mon Sep 13 07:23:23 UTC 2010

ESRI has expressed serious interest in OSM following the Haiti earthquake 
response. I first saw public announcement of this at Where 2.0 this year ... 
causing a minor bruhaha due to use of OSM images in their display, without 
attribution :). Many response agencies use ESRI, and were using OSM data in 
their map production. The ArcGIS 10 editor seems like an excellent technical way 
to expand contributions to our community. 

In my discussions with ESRI representatives, they've been genuinely interested 
to engage, and several have posted on this list and others. That doesn't mean 
they always get all the many facets of our community. I've emphasized that they 
should make special effort to explain both the technical and the cultural 
aspects of OSM to users of the editor, and provide as many in-roads to 
participating in the community as possible.

There's also inclusion of OSM base map tile option on ArcGIS Online. Here, I've 
expressed to them that they should be careful using these tiles, and perhaps set 
up some infrastructure themselves, and I made several recommendations. So far, 
usage hasn't been significant, so there's been no threat of having to cut off 
tile access to them. This discussion hasn't gone any further.

Contributions by large users to OSMF hasn't been done in any coordinated way. 
The most focused time is with SotM, and you'll actually see most of the big 
users are sponsoring. It would be wise to consider a broader fundraising 
strategy here ... I see that as part of the work of the (quiet for now, but not 
for long) Strategic Working Group.


 == Mikel Maron ==
+254(0)724899738 @mikel s:mikelmaron

From: Sam Larsen <samlarsen1 at yahoo.co.uk>
To: jo at frot.org
Cc: osmf-talk at openstreetmap.org
Sent: Mon, September 13, 2010 3:30:17 AM
Subject: Re: [Osmf-talk] "ArcGIS supports Openstreetmap"

> > As long as ESRI are not going around actively trying to  destroy the project
> > (which i don't really think they could do anyway),  then the old anti-ESRI
> > argument is not really worth discussion on this  list.
> It was not my intention to trip any anti-ESRI switch. ESRI does  what it 
>collectively does. I was amazed to see OSM support in ArcGIS10  circulating on 
>"Twitter". I don't know anyone at ESRI, i have never in my life  used a piece of 
>ESRI software, etc etc. I have no idea what they could donate or  promote in 
>kind, instead of money - a number of network nodes on a Cassandra  network, for 

>example - http://cassandra.apache.org/ - or support for a pilot project with 
>open  national mapping data.

Jo, my name is Sam Larsen.  I am from ESRI (UK) - nice to meet you.  I think the 

impact of traditional GIS software suppliers like ESRI will be in exposing a 
large number of GIS users who have very little contact with open source & 
collective works to the world of OSM.  These users may not have a lot of 
knowledge of the open source world, but many will have a lot of experience in 
GIS.  How involved they get really remains to be seen.  I feel as protective of 
the project as many others and do worry about large companies charging in, 
however, i feel that in the spirit of openness (which is really what we are all 
about) we should embrace all those who show an interest in OSM.  I think we are 
strong enough as a community to withstand 'commercial influence' (ignoring 
current license debate ;)

> This could be a sharp kind of double-edged sword. 

Any number of current happenings in OSM could turn out to be a sharp kind of 
double-edged sword (including current license debate ;).

> But the alternative appears to be the OSM Foundation scraping around for 
>support  for hosting, while commercially exploiting entities create millions of 

>measured  value in venture capital. And i don't understand  that...

If what you are trying to say is that you feel uneasy with ESRI services  
consuming large numbers of map tiles - then raise the issue in plain english and 

we can  have a doalogue with ESRI & those who make decisions regarding the fair 
usage  policy.  I am pushing for more hosted services from ESRI (who certainly 
have the capability to do that), however, i am not the MD, so these things may 
take longer than I might like.

I really don't care what other people are doing, who is earning what & who is 
creating what - as long as we are enjoying what we are doing.  Frankly, if 
someone creates something worth a lot of money and sells it - that's great, for 
me, that is what it's all about; getting past all the restrictions of data so we 

can get on with creating valuable uses for our data.  Is it open or not? 



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