[OSM-talk] License plan

Donald Allwright donald_allwright at yahoo.com
Fri Feb 27 15:43:56 GMT 2009

>If someone has put one church on the map, or removed an 'n' from 'Avennue',
>or even just done the uncreative monkey-work of tracing over Yahoo imagery,

I take exception to this. I have spent many a long winter night (over two winters!) adding almost all the lakes and rivers of Peru to OSM (for largely personal reasons, it's what I wanted to do - and there were very few already there when I started). Except for in built up areas, these are features that are mostly so remote that no-one will ever visit more than a few of them with a GPS. The only way these will ever be added is from satellite imagery. I don't think this is uncreative monkey-work - it's probably upwards of 50 hours of effort in total. I tried things like the lake-walker plugin to speed it up, but with only limited success, so most of it is totally manual.

I suspect that in most cases of smaller, more remote lakes OSM is the first map on which these lakes have appeared, ever. A lot of this I would not consider particularly 'useful', but for me it is a form of art - just like when I draw a picture, or sing a song, or write a blog entry. I'd like to be able to look back and think "yeah, I did that".

Are you saying that this would not be covered by copyright? I think I've added a significant amount of creativity to the original data from which it is derived - i.e. they are now on a map as opposed to just a satellite picture. I'd have no problem with someone copying a lake or two and using them under a different licence, but if they copy the whole lot and abuse the licence for my artwork (creative commons for now, the new OSM licence if I decide to agree to it) then I'd be seriously unhappy. Even for more 'conventional' uses of tracing satellite imagery for adding roads, the contribution can be significant, even if it's not as good as using a GPS to collect the data.


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