[Talk-GB] 'D' class roads references.

David Woolley forums at david-woolley.me.uk
Sun Aug 5 18:50:48 UTC 2018

On 05/08/18 19:02, Martin Wynne wrote:

> Worcestershire County Council is paid for by me. And a few others.

The only place for which I am aware of national legislation making 
certain government publications automatically free to use is the USA. 
Even there it only applies to the Federal Government, and only to the 
extent that the material doesn't come from a private contractor with 
whom the rights to release were not negotiated (typically software 
licences explicitly override the Federal Governments rights to put that 
software into the public domain).

Some US states and cities have such  policies but it is not universal.

The OSM movement are one of the groups that are trying to get UK local 
government to publish more on open licences, but a large amount of data 
is still restricted, and a lot of it is tainted by being based on 
coordinates taken from OS maps.  A good example are right of way maps. 
The actual maps are tainted by OS data, and a lot of councils still have 
to be convinced to release the narrative descriptions.

Whilst you might think that local councils ought to publish, that is 
often a political issue, complicated by the cost of ensuring that the 
data is not tainted by information from commercial sources - releasing 
data has some cost to the council.

There is also pressure on councils to find ways of making money.  You 
might notice the recent news about how underfunding has affected 
children's services.

Encouraging using data without getting properly documented clearances 
puts OSM at risk in at least two ways:

1) The data owner might enforce their rights after the data has been 
widely used, and the subsequent redaction of the OSM database will be 
very disruptive;

2) If people cannot be sure that OSM will respect restrictions on data, 
people may play safe and simply not consider releasing any of it.

(I think there are quite a lot of cases where OSM has been directly 
contaminated with Google data, as well.)

Use in OSM also requires permission to use for profit, which goes beyond 
simple release to the public for their personal use.

OSM actually exists because of proprietary ownership of mapping data. 
Widespread availability of GPS devices meant it was possible for people 
to bypass the typical mapping data suppliers and obtain the data 
directly from what is on the ground, and it is that ability that led to 
OSM being created.

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