[OSM-talk] Fwd: Nav4All navigation shut down by Navteq

Someoneelse lists at mail.atownsend.org.uk
Tue Feb 2 00:46:23 GMT 2010

Igor Brejc wrote:
> ... I think we are too concentrated on generating 
> content (i.e. mapping) as opposed to actually using this data for some 
> meaningful purpose. I guess this is natural, since majority of OSM users 
> are mostly map data producers, and only the minority is actively 
> involved in map "consuming".
> My point is that we should listen to people who are trying to use our 
> mapping data (both for non-profit and commercially).  After all, isn't 
> it the whole point of OSM to produce something useful? Or is just so 
> that we can show a nice world map on the main page?

Personally, I'm here as a "map consumer".  I was looking for handheld 
GPS maps about 18 months ago and OSM was the only option that was not 
(a) expensive, (b) a bit rubbish or (c) both.  Also, Ordnance Survey 
paper coverage was a bit poor where I live because it hadn't kept pace 
with landscape changes (railways, mining etc.).  Speaking as someone who 
spends the occasional weekend walking around the Peak District and 
dropping by a pub or two, I'm a happy camper - where OSM has coverage 
it's usually better than anything else.

However, wearing another hat, I work for a company that occasionally 
gets asked by customers how to display business information on a map. 
Usually they don't have much money to spend (does anyone?).  OSM data 
ought to be an option, but there are a couple of issues:  One is 
coverage, discussed better here: 
http://fakestevec.blogspot.com/2010/01/shitholes.html than I could.

The other is licensing (yes - I know - I'm sorry).  I'm not a lawyer, 
but even I can have a go at navigating through Google's "maze of twisty 
little licence pages, all different" and come out with an answer at the 
end (which is usually "no, you can't legally do what you were hoping 
to").  Unfortunately, OSM seems to be more complicated.  I've read the 
legal FAQ in the wiki.  I've read the "Common licence interpretations" 
page - and I still have no idea whether a particular use constitutes a 
"derivative" or a "collective" work.  I suspect that many prospective 
users will have given up before the "we strongly advise you to obtain 
legal advice" bit (despite that being the "correct" answer, of course). 
  What would really help the "interpretations" page would be some 
examples, similar to the ODL Use Cases, but for the current licence.

For instance, a company (let's call them "Elcheapotech") wants to plot 
its customers' locations on a map.  It doesn't want to update the data, 
or sell anything based upon it - it just wants a background seeing where 
things are.  They won't object to displaying an attribution on-screen. 
They probably wouldn't object if someone said that they had to host a 
copy of the original OSM data, but they would object if they had to make 
public their overlay.  They're not selling their overlaid data - just 
using it internally.  Is that allowed?  If yes (or no), why? (or why 
not?).  The way that I read the 1st part of the 4th paragraph of the 
"interpretations" page suggests that someone thinks that this would be a 
"derivative work", but the last part suggests "collective work".  If the 
2nd of these is correct, what happens if Elcheapotech wants to sell the 
expertise that it has gained by doing the same thing that it has 
internally as a service for other companies?

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