[Talk-ca] Google Streetview

Gregory nomoregrapes at googlemail.com
Fri Mar 12 02:34:10 GMT 2010

I know Ed Parsons, who I believe is basically the head of all things geo at
Google(I forget his exact title), and see him at various OSM events
(including State of the Map in 200, 2008, not sure about 2009). You can
imagine he often gets questioned about giving us his data if he likes us so

The map data he can't give out because it actually belongs to Teleatlas or
whichever company they buy it off(depends on location). And they only buy it
to use it, no derived work, no giving it to anyone else, keeping the
copyright notice, etc. It's much much much cheaper and a Teleatlas find it
acceptable, than buying it out right.

So then StreetView came along. Google collected all the data/photos
themselves, by default they own the copyright to the geo-referenced photos.
Verbal: Mr Parsons, can we look at your photos please? Erm, in theory we
could let you do that, but, erm, not going to tell you officially that you
can. So he chickened out and it remains a no.
Until you have a written e-mail or letter from Google bosses/lawyers saying
you can copy the photos for data into OSM on the OSM license, then you can't
use them. I think even then you might not be able to use the current
Streetview as the photos are 'attached' to the Teleatlas data (e.g. when you
move along to a junction and can turn left/right/forward).

There is also a really good story about copyrighted road signs from the 2008
SOTM (http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/State_Of_The_Map_2008). The video
is here: http://vimeo.com/6623060 (25mins long but very worth watching, you
could skip the first 6mins).

I'll end this message by saying I agree with Richard that you can/should use
Streetview to find interesting places to go out an map yourself. But that
might leave some places unloved. I would just use Streetview to check where
roads/areas are rough and I should go with an spare inner tube. :o)

osm at livingwithdragons.com
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