[Talk-us] Facts about the world

Brian May bmay at mapwise.com
Fri Apr 3 16:57:39 UTC 2015

On 4/3/2015 8:18 AM, Frederik Ramm wrote:
> Hi,
> I'm really sad that time and time again we have to fight about whether
> or not a specific source is permitted to be used in OSM, when we could
> just collect the facts ourselves and therefore be completely free of any
> legal implications (and also free of errors that others may have made).
> Bye
> Frederik

In the US, literally billions of dollars have been spent collecting 
geospatial data over the past 20+ years at all levels of government. A 
very sizable portion of that data is free of restrictive licensing (and 
getting better at the state and local level every year). That's a lot of 
work done - millions of man hours? I think a lot of people in the US 
look at existing available data and say to themselves, why duplicate all 
that effort? It doesn't make any sense.

I think its more helpful to discuss what types of features lend 
themselves to imports vs. not. There seems to be a strong consensus in 
the US that addresses and buildings are strong candidates for import. 
Why spend hundreds of thousands of man hours to recreate something that 
has already been done by local governments throughout the US? Of course, 
data quality and licensing has to be vetted, but it just simply does not 
make sense to replicate all that work. Especially since we have proven 
methods for importing that data without damaging existing data.

Brian May aka grouper

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