[OSM-talk] Yahoo Aerial Imagery vs. OSM Spirit

Joshua Marinacci joshua at marinacci.org
Thu Mar 29 16:49:29 BST 2007

I think this is all the more reason to focus on using NASA imagery  
which has no such restrictions.

- Josh

On Mar 29, 2007, at 8:43 AM, SteveC wrote:

> Frederik Ramm wrote:
>> But gifts can also do damage. On the one hand, we risk becoming
>> influenced (or should I even sy corrupted) in or thinking by the very
>> "intellectual property/licensing/corporate attitude" that was one
>> reason to start OSM. Call it political decision-making or whatever -
>> the fact that their data is there and they have nothing against our
>> tracing OSM data from the satellite/aerial imagery, but they want to
>> tell us exactly that one way of doing it is ok and other way is not.
> What makes you think yahoo care about any of this? Their hands are  
> tied
> by the agreement(s) made with their imagery providers. It's not like
> Yahoo own this stuff and can do what they like.
>> Look at it like this: There's litte Fred in his computerized hut. One
>> evening, existing OSM data plus Yahoo imagery goes in; the next
>> morning, a lot of OSM data comes out. That's the basics. Nothing else
>> comes out, no traces remain. Now why in the world do Yahoo want to
>> tell Fred that he may do his work using the applet, but he may not do
>> it using other means?
> Because they have contracts to honour?
>> And we're starting to jump through loops. We're starting to speculate
>> what Yahoo's reasons might be and how we might "work with them" - how
>> we might tune our technical processes so that, while technically less
>> than optimal (or more complex than necessary), they will fit
>> soneone's license model.
> No, I really don't think "we" are doing these things, like working  
> with
> them. There's a bunch of pontificating about the moral wrongs and dark
> purposes, but only one guy, mikel, actually going to all the effort.
> Really, your time is much better spent coding, suggesting a better  
> way,
> getting better imagery...
>> We're even starting to believe that the JOSM plugin might have
>> violated their terms of use by storing a temporary file, while at the
>> same time taking it for granted that browsers may make any number of
>> temporary files accessible for eternity just because that is  
>> "normal".
> It's not a matter of belief, it's a fact that Yahoo! feel that it goes
> too far. So what? So we find a way to make it work. I couldn't give a
> monkeys about whether their reasoning is technically sound. It's just
> not their fault, they're protecting their investment and contractual
> obligations as would any sane person. I'm sure that if they owned the
> images outright they'd happily let us have them. As it turns out  
> they don't.
> They have an agreement on using this stuff through their API in
> principle and spirit. We ran up against that, we can still use things
> like potlatch. If we can't make it happen in JOSM then c'est la  
> vie. So
> make potlatch do what you want, or go and spend the time to build a
> 'better' relationship with someone else. We really don't need to throw
> the baby out with the bathwater.
>> And there's another danger with the gift of Yahoo imagery as well: I
>> have heard people in my area say "don't bother mapping that, I'm sure
>> we will soon have better Yahoo imagery for our region and then wee'll
>> trace it from there". So the potential later availability of
>> satellite images is actually keeping people from making an effort to
>> get the data now. (Not Yahoo's fault, of course. But if we weren't
> What people? I'm not held back. Have you met any of these people? I've
> met tons of people who are held back due to a slow server, technical
> knowledge or what have you. Nobody's said to me they can't be bothered
> to map in case Yahoo decide to release aerial data... they'd have  
> to go
> out _anyway_ to get the street names.
>> involved with them, then the chances of having satellite images for
>> the region soon would be much more remote, motivating some people to
>> tackle it themselves instead of waiting for better days.)
>> For a third time: Satellite images are valuable and I would like to
>> have them. But even though Lars has used drastic words when he spoke
>> of queues on Soviet streets... I, too, find it tempting to walk away
>> in this case.
> Walk away from something you didn't set up, because it can't be done
> with your favourite editor as it stands? Please.
> have fun,
> SteveC steve at asklater.com http://www.asklater.com/steve/
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- Blasting forth in three part harmony!

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