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

Richard Fairhurst richard at systemed.net
Tue Feb 24 17:42:39 GMT 2009


LeedsTracker wrote:
> I do. To be clear, I'm not advocating using Gmaps/G-earth for OSM, I
> was just puzzled by the (apparently unproblematic) use of it in
> Wikimedia and wondered if a parallel use was justifiable.

Put yourself in the shoes of Google's lawyers - and, more significantly,
those of their data suppliers. The law is unclear here, and Google/BigDataCo
aren't actually losing out by this use. (You could argue they're gaining -
every site which significantly draws on Google Maps reinforces their
position at the head of the ecosystem.) So there would be no gain for them
in a long, drawn-out, involved legal battle against Wikimedia, especially
when you consider the adverse PR.

But if we did it, Google/BigDataCo would be at risk of losing out - their
future customers could use our data instead, or our data repackaged by an
added-value company. Even if BigDataCo had to spend months on the case, it
would be worth them stopping us deriving. So they would sue. (Besides, the
Wikipedia crowd have deeper pockets than us.)

> Also, I can't see what Google would gain by stopping Wikimedia users
> from geolocating their pics, while OSM is eventually going to compete
> with gmaps.

Exactly.

cheers
Richard
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