[Talk-in] Police investigating Google's mapathon

Arun Ganesh arun.planemad at gmail.com
Fri Apr 5 20:42:03 UTC 2013

I did read about an opposition party MP raising concerns about this, but
was not aware of what is happening. The whole citizen mapping treading on
SOI's territory has been a concern at the back of my mind and I'm curious
to know what comes out of this.

I find three interesting perspectives to the issue:
If you are crowdsourcing map making, how do you guarantee it is accurate?
You can't!
Imagine the military or any security establishment using a crowdsourced map
for the basis of its operation, it would be silly without doing an
independent ground survey to authenticate the data. Google maps or even OSM
are never going to be authentic maps endorsed by an official source. At the
end, SOI, Google Maps and Openstreetmap are all going to have different
maps, so which one do you trust? The one from the government funded by tax
money, or the one from a bunch of unpaid citizens who can do whatever they

The main concern is obviously maps being used as a resource by an enemy to
compromise a target. If one were an enemy of the state, which maps would
you use for your evil mission?
SOI: They hide military areas, but they also have accurate information on a
lot of other areas including topography and the data is verified by the
Google and OSM: Maps created using citizen volunteers who can only collect
what is already publicly available. There is limited moderation and
verifying of data. This raises questions about accountability and accuracy
of the dataset and there is nobody who can guarantee it. Would one use a
crowdsourced map or an official map for a critical operation?

Planning of most human activities requires some sort of geographic
information and in India, with so many people, it's going to be extremely
valuable information. History has shown us that those with better maps
stays in control <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Trigonometric_Survey>,
and we are having this dogfight of who control's the better map - the
government or the people?

I find the whole Citizen Mapping vs Security argument laughable. If the
security establishment is compromised because of information that can be
gathered from the public domain from unverified sources, where exactly is
the security compromise? It looks like the State has just been caught
sleeping with it's old cash cow while the world has moved on.

On Fri, Apr 5, 2013 at 10:56 PM, Ishan Chattopadhyaya <
ichattopadhyaya at gmail.com> wrote:

> Its companies like Google that defame community mapping efforts like ours.
> First they try StreetView, which turns Govt. suspiscious about their
> motives and then whatever they do is eyed with suspicion. Anyway, I am not
> overly disappointed or sad; Perhaps, I'm just happy.
> On Fri, Apr 5, 2013 at 10:29 PM, Pradeep Mohandas <
> pradeep.mohandas at gmail.com> wrote:
>> The similarity exists in that OpenStreetMap also has people, ordinary
>> people, collecting this data and uploading it on OpenStreetMap. The modus
>> operandi is similar.
>> Also, the Delhi Police is acting on a complaint lodged by the Survey of
>> India that exerts its right as the sole map maker in India. Isn't that in
>> conflict with what we're doing on OSM too?
>> I learnt and contributed to Google Maps before I did to OSM. It was on
>> Google Maps that I learnt about OSM. I feel kinda sad with this community
>> taking this approach. Mappers must be able to contribute to any platform
>> that they wish to. I think this case sorta threatens that freedom.
>> Anyway, that's just me.
>> warm regards,
>> Pradeep
>> On 5 April 2013 22:19, Shekhar Krishnan <shekhar at topomancy.com> wrote:
>>> This is about Google's private data collection efforts, not OSM's public
>>> map-building. No need for us in OSM to worry about the Delhi Police. :)
>>> S.K.
>>> On Friday 05 April 2013 10:05 PM, Pradeep Mohandas wrote:
>>>> hi,
>>>> Are people on this list carefully avoiding discussing this? -
>>>> http://timesofindia.**indiatimes.com/tech/tech-news/**
>>>> internet/Delhi-Police-**investigating-Google-Mapathon/**
>>>> articleshow/19398857.cms<http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/tech/tech-news/internet/Delhi-Police-investigating-Google-Mapathon/articleshow/19398857.cms>
>>>>  warm regards, Pradeep
>>>> -- How Pradeep uses email - http://goo.gl/6v1I9
>>>> ______________________________**_________________ Talk-in mailing list
>>>>  Talk-in at openstreetmap.org
>>>> http://lists.openstreetmap.**org/listinfo/talk-in<http://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/talk-in>
>>> --
>>> Shekhar Krishnan
>>> Topomancy LLC
>>> http://shekhar.cc
>>> http://topomancy.com
>>> ______________________________**_________________
>>> Talk-in mailing list
>>> Talk-in at openstreetmap.org
>>> http://lists.openstreetmap.**org/listinfo/talk-in<http://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/talk-in>
>> --
>> How Pradeep uses email - http://goo.gl/6v1I9
>> _______________________________________________
>> Talk-in mailing list
>> Talk-in at openstreetmap.org
>> http://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/talk-in
> _______________________________________________
> Talk-in mailing list
> Talk-in at openstreetmap.org
> http://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/talk-in

 Arun Ganesh
(planemad) <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Planemad>
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.openstreetmap.org/pipermail/talk-in/attachments/20130406/adfe4007/attachment-0001.html>

More information about the Talk-in mailing list