[talk-ph] A look at Wikimapia Beta (and advocating for OSM)

sorabsuperstar at web.de sorabsuperstar at web.de
Mon Dec 15 20:29:01 GMT 2008

....why you are so concerned about wikimapia. I did not see this new beta page yet. The old page had a different approach. In fact it was somehow the trashcan for anything that has nothing left in OSM ;)
However, now the situation is different. And in fact, I am confused and concerned too: Now there is a third project, that is diverging efforts to create a map of the Philippines (and the world)

What I know about wikimapia is, that they still didn't put their data under an open license. So for me I'd still consider it a kinda rip-off, as these two Russian guys let ppl work for them for free, and in effect they gonna have intellectual property which they can use for whatever (commercial) purpose they want. Same thing as with google mapmaker.

However wikimapia has the problem, that they are deriving their work from google maps and - as far it is public known (see wikipedia on wikimapia) - they DO NOT have an arrangement with google.
So they are either undercover working for google, or google MIGHT have the option to shut them down whenever google wants. (...or more likely buy them an use the data, ...or most likely BOTH)

It all melts down to the question whether tracing from aerial photos creates a derivative or an original work. This question is not really answered yet. As far as I know there is no respective case law anywhere. We in OSM just don't use google's footage to be on the save side, should the courts ever decide that tracing maps from aerial photos is derivative work. Which is NOT unlikely. Especially since the applicable law might virtually be any national law of any country where OSM mappers live.

Regarding google mapmaker I already shared my thoughts that I find it kind of not in line with their "dont be evil"-thing to do what they do. I mean why didn't they approach OSM to make a joint venture for the developing countries where they are in default of coverage: They provide their highres aerials to OSM, licensing the respective derivative work under CC-SA and in return they can add - maybe as an "CC-SA layer" - the missing data in google earth/maps.
However we dont know if there have been talks. Maybe the OSM admins refused. MAybe they demanded what google wont do, i.e. that the entire google maps would need to go CC-SA.
In the OSM Wiki there is no Information on that.
So who could know if there have been talks? Maning, you have any direct contact to the OSM administration?
However maybe I should not impute bad motivations to all of them. Maybe they (at least wikimapia) are just ignorant of the legal issues... ehm..... well actually that's crap, since it is a well known criticism on wikimapia that they don't use a free license.

Anyway, I suggest the following:

We (OSM) should in fact approach both of them, suggesting that all three projects (at least for countries like Philippines, Vietnam etc...) will be moved under an open license (CC-SA, GPL, LPGL (<- that latter one would be better for OSM anyway, but I am afraid that it's legally too late for that, unless we could secure acceptance of each and every OSMer, which is practically impossible)... maybe they would accept CC-SA) . If that would happen, then its only a technical task, but not a legal issue anymore, to merge the databases and linking them. (It might - however - be necessary to put the OSM database for the affected countries into a separate database)
However this is something we cannot do in the Philippines. This needs to be taken care of from the top of OSM. I would volunteer to lead talks (did I yet mention that I am a lawyer?:)). However: WHO to talk to in OSM? Anyone a clue about who's in charge of those things? (Is there anyone at all?)

IF wikimapia and google maps would not agree to anything, and continue their crowd sourcing projects under closed licenses, then we need to aggressively do PR, enlightening the public that anyone who is contributing to wikimapia or google mapmaker is actually working for free for the pure benefits of certain other ppl (a concept formerly known as slavery?) . Unlike OSM where they work for free for the greater good. :)

I fully share seav80's concerns. We should talk to them. However not as OSM-PH, but as OSM-global


> -----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
> Von: "Eugene Alvin Villar" <seav80 at gmail.com>
> Gesendet: 15.12.08 18:38:28
> An: OSM <talk-ph at openstreetmap.org>
> Betreff: [talk-ph] A look at Wikimapia Beta (and advocating for OSM)

Hello guys (no girls?),
> I've e-mailed the mailing list in passing about Wikimapia Beta before,
> and I've now properly "reviewed" and blogged about it: http://vaes9.
> codedgraphic.com/posts/wikimapia_beta. Wikimapia Beta is yet another 
> road mapping project and their coverage of the Philippines could 
> rival that of Google Map Maker since they use Google Maps' satellite 
> imagery. I've concluded my blog post with a call for participation to 
> the OSM project by linking to http://openstreetmap.org.ph/.
> I'd like to suggest that we talk to the Filipino Google Map Makers (
> http://groups.google.com/group/mapping-the-philippines/) (I think 
> Rally is part of that group), and the Filipino Wikimapians (http://
> filimapia.pbwiki.com/) so that we can, at the very least, coordinate 
> tagging and naming conventions (they face the same problems we do) 
> and maybe, possibly, encourage them to switch to OSM. Hehehe. ;-)
> What do you guys think?
> Regards,
> Eugene / seav
> -- 
> http://vaes9.codedgraphic.com
> _______________________________________________ talk-ph mailing list 
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> talk-ph

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