[OSM-talk] Sat nav driver's car hit by train

Lester Caine lester at lsces.co.uk
Wed May 16 10:04:50 BST 2007

Nick Whitelegg wrote:
> On Tuesday 15 May 2007 18:15, Lester Caine wrote:
>> Robert Hart wrote:
>>>> If the navigation software does not handle obstructions then the
>>>> suppliers
>>>> SHOULD be liable in some way!
>>> So when it becomes possible to put OSM on a SatNav, you'd like us all
>>> to get sued every time this happens?
>> Certainly if roads are flagged as public and passable, then they should be.
>> If there are gated crossings they should be shown, or the road should be
>> broken at that point so that any routing software will ignore it. Simply
>> putting in roads without taking a little care should be avoided.
> I really think this misses the point though in the sat nav was absolutely not 
> to blame in this, and similar cases. It would be rather like saying the 
> Ordnance Survey is to blame if someone gets injured whilst out walking.

I would contradict that!
The only reason that particular route was being used was that the sat nav HAD 
proposed it. Therefore the sat nav should AT LEAST have also put up "At level 
crossing check for trains" or it should NOT have used that road as part of the 
route? I've used my Daughter's TomTom a couple of times, and the MISSING 
information can be quite important for safety. Fortunately I KNEW about the 
problems but if the 'map' does not show something important someone new to the 
area can easily get into difficulty. ( Specifically here getting into the 
correct lane on complex motorway junctions when a simple 'keep right' is not 
necessarily appropriate, especially when followed by a turn right a mile later)

> More generally, the idea of people suing OSM over inaccurate data is a perfect 
> illustration of why an excessively litigious society is a bad thing and 
> restricts freedom and creativity. I guess we need a GPL type clause which 
> reads "you use this data *at your own risk*".

The point I'm trying to make is simply - THINK before putting in routes that 
have restrictions. I've seen a few examples from OSM that show roads that are 
actually un-passable by vehicles and should be changed. ( I've flagged one's I 
was able to ). A road crossing a railway should be correctly marked to show it 
so that *IF* someone starts building 'nav' software they can flag things such 
as "Under Railway Bridge" or "unmanned level crossing - take care"

The fact that we have no contours on OSM is a problem if a footpath goes 
across the top of a 50mt high cliff. Currently the danger is not visible on 
the map - so the message should be *this data IS incomplete so you use it at 
your own risk*

Lester Caine - G8HFL
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