[Talk-GB] [OSM-talk] Not-properly-Open-but-called-Open

Andy Allan gravitystorm at gmail.com
Sun Jan 3 12:18:32 GMT 2010

On Sat, Jan 2, 2010 at 12:48 AM, Dave F. <davefox at madasafish.com> wrote:

> I think it's high time this was done. IMO, OCM should be removed from
> the main map options asked persuasively to rename themselves as they're
> not really open, are they?

I'll ask you for one favour - when you are talking about me, please
call me "Andy" and not some facessless entity. Not only is it polite,
but it also makes things seem less hostile.

As for the name, it was originally "The OpenStreetMap Cycle Map" and I
pondered long and hard on the use of the word "The" in the title since
that sounded a bit exclusive. Eventually I gave up worrying about it
since there actually only *was* one OpenStreetMap-based cycling map
and there's more important things in life to get on with. Then I
wanted to move it out of my personal domain and the host I'd just
signed up to gave me a free domain name with the package, so I tried
www.ocm.org (as in the _OpenStreetMap _Cycle _Map) but of course it
was taken so I setted for www.opencyclemap.org instead. It's a nice
title for what it always has been, a cycle map based on OpenStreetMap
data, and a daft play on the title of OpenStreetMap itself. And I
started a trend, since many other projects based on OpenStreetMap data
have since called themselves OpenWhateverMap too, and it's a shorthand
for showing that these projects are based on OpenStreetMap in a geeky
in-joke kind of way.

But in the recent "discussions" on these lists nobody has actually
enquired as to the meaning behind the name - nobody has asked me
anything about it. Instead, people have invented their own false
meanings behind it (that it's claiming to be open-source when it
isn't), and then used those false meanings to go as far as petition me
to change the name of my project, purely because they think it means
something that it doesn't and they don't like it!? Unbelievable.
Please, discussions should be as factual as we can make them, not
based on rumours and myths. And I'm here and willing to answer
questions *when asked*.

On the subject of whether it's on the front-page of osm.org or not,
again I think people who don't know the reasons behind it have
invented their own (well, certainly nobody asked me for the truth). I
agreed that it could be added, and that I would find a way to cover
the costs (considerably more now than when I agreed to it), because it
was a great example of the possibilities of OpenStreetMap data. It's
not there to promote opencyclemap.org, as others have suggested - if
it was, then wouldn't that theory be more plausible if there was a
link, or even the name of the layer was "opencyclemap"? Sheesh. It's
there to show off Open*Street*Map, to inspire people as to the
possibilities of single-purpose custom renderings, and to show that
OSM can be used with height data (an unsurprisingly common question).
If you were to *ask me* about the front page, I'd want to see other
layers being added - öpvnkarte for starters - but there are still few
people willing/able to make global layers and find the (financial)
resources to make them available. Calling on removing the cycle map
layer - not because it sucks, not because it brings the project into
disrepute, not because it can't handle the load, but instead purely
because you have a difference of opinion on how important it is to
have access to the stylesheets - well, that's the biggest case of
cutting your nose off to spite your face that I've seen in a long


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