[Talk-us] press from SOTM US

Frederik Ramm frederik at remote.org
Mon Oct 22 22:34:14 GMT 2012


On 22.10.2012 22:12, Alex Barth wrote:
> I do hope to come to an agreement within OSM along the lines you just
> hashed out, Frederik (while not quite advocating for it):

This really ought to be discussed on legal-talk where there are many 
people with a year-long involvement into the finer details of the 
license - Cc+Followup there.

> Right now we largely don't have functioning municipal
> boundaries in OSM. Obviously, any data that is mixed into OSM data
> for _powering_ the geocoder would fall under share alike
> stipulations.

I'm not sure about this "obviously".

I can imagine situations where someone collects geocoding queries and 
OSM's answers and perhaps even records which of the results the user 
clicked on afterwards, giving them a distinct advantage over other OSM 
users who don't have all that extra data. IIRC, geocoder.ca has proven 
that they can build a valuable geocoding database with such techniques. 
If we were to make a blanket declaration that geocoding doesn't trigger 
share-alike, we'd give that away, we'd allow people to build their own 
"improved upon OSM" geocoding databases and sell them on. If we allow 
it, then it *will* happen, because there's a commercial gain to be had.

We would even open the door to services where someone geocodes with OSM 
and then says "wrong result? just move the marker to the right position 
on this map", and keeps the corrections to himself, in a separate 
"corrections" database.

I haven't thought this through enough to actually say which of the 
"unwanted use cases" are indeed possible even with the current 
"substantial" guidelines 
and which additional "unwanted use cases" would be possible with a 
weakened form of those.

We should perhaps not only make a list of "what people would like to do 
with geocoding", but a second list of "what we don't want people to do" 
(things like I sketched above - build improved database on top of OSM 
and market that), then we can maybe check any guidelines we draft 
against these points.

> You bring up the important problem of properly bounding the geocoding
> case. I'm thinking if all that can be extracted from OSM's database
> are names and addresses for lat/lon pairs or lat/lon pairs for names
> or addresses, it would be arguably impossible or at least
> impractically hard to recreate a functioning street network from it
> and the extracted data would be a narrow subset of OSM no matter how
> many locations are being geocoded. Thoughts?

I'm not sure that "a functioning street network" is the bit that 
share-alike intends to protect and the rest is not: This whole 
discussion arose from the fact that there is heightened commercial 
interest in OSM-based geocoding - that there even seem to be people who 
are not interested in a functioning road network at all but who would be 
prepared to invest quite a bit of money to "switch2osm" their geocoding. 
So it seems that maybe address data is as valuable as the street network 
and should have the same level of protection?


Frederik Ramm  ##  eMail frederik at remote.org  ##  N49°00'09" E008°23'33"

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