[Talk-GB] London Underground roundel

Thomas Wood grand.edgemaster at gmail.com
Thu Mar 25 13:36:12 GMT 2010

Wow, good work. I suppose this will start a flood of localisation 
requests for other metro systems, this will probably be a good thing - 
it'll force our mapnik localisation to be made better! (maybe I could 
target it as a GSoC project for myself...)


David Earl wrote:
> Back in November, in this thread:
> http://lists.openstreetmap.org/pipermail/talk-gb/2009-November/004996.html
> we were talking about the possibility of using the London Underground 
> roundel on map renderings. I said I would contact them.
> My first contact went unanswered, but I chased it up again recently and 
> after an email exchange I spoke to them on the phone as well.
> Yes, we have permission use it in principle, providing it is reproduced 
> per their design (which is the obvious red circle with a blue bar 
> through it). I have their official file.
> They also sent a set of design guidelines (as most 
> companies/organisations do when you want to use their logo). But these 
> are aimed at leaflets and stationery etc, not maps, a suprising omission 
> (they require, for example, 25% of the logo size as clear border all 
> round). I discussed this with them on the phone (this mail can serve as 
> a record of that conversation) and they said in our context it is OK to 
> just put a white border around it following the contour of the logo of 
> say 50%-100% the width of the ring/bar, rather like we do for text 
> captions now, just so it is distinctly separated from the background. 
> (They are going to think about revising their guidelines so it takes 
> this kind of use into account).
> I did point out that A-Z maps use their logo in similar contexts. What 
> we mustn't do is use a dark rule around it or, as A-Z and some others 
> do, put a rule around the whole blue bar as well. A-Z is infringing 
> their guidelines on the central area maps! On the smaller scale maps, 
> they (A-Z) are more or less right, but in some cases the white exclusion 
> zone is not present or very hard to see.
> So good news in principle. Whether we do it in practice is up to whoever 
> wants to play with mapnik, and whether the operator tags on LU stations 
> are consistent enough for this to be applied to LU and no other metro. I 
> could put in a trac request for it.
> N.B. I asked in the context of our Mapnik rendering. I see no problem in 
> TAH as well. But as CloudMade is a commercial company, I think it would 
> be unwise to just do it in CloudMade renderings (and likewise others) 
> without them approaching TfL themselves. There's a request form here:
>    https://www.tfl.gov.uk/tfl/corporate/media/logos/default.asp
> I don't think there would be a problem, they seem very friendly, and A-Z 
> is a precedent.
> I've appended below what I asked (their form ignored my newlines, sorry).
> David
> --------------------------
> I'm writing to ask you about the use of the London Underground roundel 
> logo to indicate tube station positions on a map produced for 
> OpenStreetMap. We know that this is copyrighted and trademarked and it 
> is important for the aims of our project that we don't infringe other 
> people's intellectual property. OpenStreetMap (www.openstreetmap.org) is 
> an initiative to create maps from scratch free of the restrictions 
> normally associated with maps. It is in effect a "wikipedia for maps". 
> There are two aspects to this: firstly the map data is stored in a 
> database in an encoded form, and that is OpenStreetMaps primary asset, 
> and is not an issue here; secondly, any number of different renderings 
> of style and content can be produced from that data, a key example being 
> the map that you see by default on the OpenStreetMap web site (we know 
> this internally as the "Mapnik rendering") as linked above. We have been 
> discussing on our mailing lists recently about how to represent metro 
> stations. At present Mapnik uses a generic off-blue square (for example, 
> Chancery lane, here: http://osm.org/go/euu4m6X7y- ). This applies 
> throughout the world. However, we'd like to customize this for 
> particular metro systems, and in London that should obviously be the 
> London Underground red and blue roundel instead of the blue square. So 
> my questions are: 1. Is this something we can just do, or do we need 
> permission to use the symbol? 2. Are you able to give permission for 
> this use? 3. Would using it require an acknowledgement? (This might be 
> impractical on the map itself, given the number of metro systems in the 
> world, let alone the number of other potentially customizable logos for 
> shops, hotels etc, but might be possible on a separately linked page). 
> Things to bear in mind: (a) our maps are licensed CCbySA 
> (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/), that is, in essence, 
> anyone can reproduce them free of charge providing the same restrictions 
> are applied to their copy ("share alike"), and freely available for 
> commercial and non-commercial uses. (b) there is no question of storing 
> the logo in the data itself, merely drawing it on a pictorial 
> representation of the data; that would involve storing a copy in or with 
> the software that generates the rendering (which I think could be 
> accompanied by acknowledgement/restriction/ copyright/trademark 
> information as appropriate) (c) this is a service to map consumers: it 
> must surely be of benefit to TfL that map users can identify Underground 
> stations on maps. (d) maps may be reproduced on paper and on other 
> websites, either by copying, or deep linking to the original (e) other 
> renderings styles and software may want to do the same thing. (f) we 
> cannot enter into a license agreement that would compromise the ability 
> of people to use and reproduce the maps freely, though in a license 
> agreement that permits the use we need may be possible. We'd much prefer 
> a simple permission if possible though. (g) I'm just enquiring on behalf 
> of our mailing list users at present. If something more formal is 
> needed, we'd have to decide how to manage that. (h) it is unlikely we 
> could justify paying for this, especially in view of the precedent it 
> might set for the huge range of other possible features on the map. I 
> imagine that e.g. Starbucks would be more than happy for us to use their 
> logo to show their store locations on the map were we to ask them, as 
> essentially free advertising, and I do hope TfL might be able to take 
> that position also. Many thanks, David Earl
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