[Talk-ca] OSM, the Foundation and GeoBase data

Richard Weait richard at weait.com
Thu Jul 24 21:21:09 BST 2008

Hi all,

There has been a lot of discussion on the talk-ca list recently about
the GeoBase data.  The GeoBase data was one topic of the most recent OSM
Foundation board meeting conference call.  I was fortunate enough to
participate in that conference call and have the opportunity to
summarize it for you.  

The GeoBase data includes road network data, aerial imagery,
administrative borders, elevation and other data.  Only three of the
provinces have road data that includes street names the rest have only
basic road location and connectivity information.  Many OSM users have
pointed out the wonderful potential and advantages of having the GeoBase
data included in OpenStreetMap.  The GeoBase data is licensed under the
GeoBase Unrestricted Use Licence Agreement.  

OpenStreetMap data is currently licensed under the Creative Commons
Attribution Share Alike license.  

But licenses are involved.  And lawyers are involved.  And that means
that things are not entirely decided yet.  The OSM Foundation has been
in contact with GeoBase to discuss the best way to include the GeoBase
data into OSM while respecting every aspect of both licenses.  Contact
with GeoBase has been positive in every respect, and I believe that
GeoBase and the Foundation will come to an agreement that is beneficial
to both.  Our discussion has taken over a year so far.  I hope and
expect that the bulk of the discussion is behind us now.  

So we aren't ready to import any of the GeoBase data yet.  I am really
looking forward to the day that we reach an agreement and can include
the GeoBase data.  Today is not that day.  

I will keep you posted of progress in our discussions with GeoBase.
Look for the next update in August.  

Best regards,

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