[OSM-talk] advertising

Frederik Ramm frederik at remote.org
Fri Jul 6 13:36:13 BST 2007


> Commercial services very clearly add value to maps used by car  
> drivers: A road atlas without ferry links, toll bridges, motorway  
> service stations, petrol stations isn't as valuable (to drivers) as  
> one with this information.

Yes, and one that only has "Shell" petrol stations because only  
"Shell" forked out money is not really information any longer.

Yes, I want information about commercial entities on the map. But  
either I select them myself, or the map provider selects based on  
information value ("all petrol stations", "all petrol stations along  
motorways", whatever) - but not based on who pays. This distorts the  
information and reduces the value.

> If BP offered to mark every petrol station in the world on OSM  
> would that be a problem?

We would probably import their data and strive to add all other  
petrol stations as well.

> If HSBC offered to mark everyone of their ATMs? Sounds like a  
> useful idea - but how about people who bank with Fortis or BBVA?  
> Are they being disadvantaged?

They/we can add the ATMs.

> If McDonalds offered to mark every one of their restaurants? NO!!!  
> Bad!!!...

They could do it today. The problems start when they offer us money  
to force these "markings" down the throat of our users - this is  
something that we will not do.

> So let's agree commercial information needs to integrate with maps  
> but not be "in the map" - Layers of services make total sense -  
> want hotels? show hotels. Want to see restaurants? show restaurants.

Yes, and handle that information the Wiki way: If someone wants to  
add a hotel, then log in, use the editor, and tag the hotel. NOT "go  
to mappam, set up a campaign, fork out money".

> If, having added every petrol station, BP wanted to add information  
> about opening hours... another useful idea... and the price of petrol?

Sure. If an unhappy user then wants to add information about the  
unfriendly clerk... another useful idea... but something that BP will  
probably not want to pay for. So it has to be made clear: Dear BP,  
yes we'd like to have your stations in our data base, but you must  
understand taht this is a Wiki map, and all your competitors have the  
same options, and if you give us the data, you lose control of it. It  
is not in the hands of your marketing people any more. Agree with  
that, or go away.

> This is the commercial reality of the world we are mapping.

No problem with that. Problems only start when money changes hands in  
order to make us show things to people that they don't want to see  
(mappam ads cannot be disabled anymore...), or when we don't show  
information about company A because we're exclusively featuring its  
competitor company B.

> It seems to me that what Mappam are doing on OSM is testing their  
> technology to see how it can add value to users

The technology to add value - all kinds of value that you mentioned -  
is already there. Having amenity layers could be interesting, but  
mappam isn't providing that.

> It is early days and clearly it needs refining. But if you want to  
> buy a house in the UK Mappam's advert for Nestoria does add value  
> to the map.

A very weak argument. The same is being put by spammers all over the  
Usenet: But if someone is looking for Penis enlargement pills, then  
this email adds value for him!

> As a group we should be helping Mappam get it right

Why should we? We could also help someone else. Why do we have an  
obligation vis a vis one of hundreds of thousands of Web 2.0 startups  
in the world?


Frederik Ramm  ##  eMail frederik at remote.org  ##  N49°00.09' E008°23.33'

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