[OSM-talk] Locating objects in Google Maps/Earth

Donald Allwright donald_allwright at yahoo.com
Tue Feb 24 10:49:47 GMT 2009

>> Please don't use Google Maps when doing OSM. It's just not worth the risk.
>I understand that this is a safe and wise rule, but as Wikimedia
>Commons' site suggests (and Nic's reply, commenting on talk-legal
>discussions), there may be a fair use (or fair dealing) for rectifying
>the location of an object this way.

The concept of fair use is something which differs from one jurisdiction to another. Here in the UK for example, we have no fair use rights at all. Even ripping a CD to your PC and downloading it to a portable music player is technically not something you have a right to do, although in this case any copyright owner who tried to sue a user for doing so would be completely mad. Whilst fair use may be used as a defence for rectifying data using Google Maps in the USA, it would not be a valid defence in the UK or a number of other jurisdictions. Just go out with a GPS to take an accurate position, or use another data source that we have a right to use.

After all, the fun of openstreetmap.org is creating our own map, using our own tools (such as our feet, bicycles and GPS-enabled gadgets). I do use the yahoo imagery when there is no alternative, but it's better to have a legally-clean (but not quite complete) map which still allows someone the fun of completing it, than one which people can't use with confidence because they're not sure of its legality.


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