[OSM-talk] OpenBuildingModels repository

Tobias Knerr osm at tobias-knerr.de
Fri Aug 3 11:41:10 BST 2012

Hello Matthias,

what a surprise: I didn't expect an actual working beta for a building
model repository. You know from previous discussions that I believe such
a site is very much needed. So instead of repeating that, I'll skip
straight to the criticism. ;)

On 03.08.2012 11:19, Matthias wrote:
> a first prototype of the OpenBuildingModels platform is finally online.
> OpenBuildingModels aims to be a free-to-use online repository for
> architectural 3D building models. These models can be referenced in
> OpenStreetMap and are also displayed in the OSM-3D globe.

I'm a bit worried that this might be too strongly tied to the Heidelberg
OSM-3D globe. In particular, I have the following concerns:

* Is there, or will there be, an equivalent to the OSM planet files,
i.e. a possibility to download the entire content of your repository
(including metadata)?

* The VRML format is an odd choice. Afaik it is not commonly used in the
3D OSM community. What are your reasons for choosing it?

* Will yo make the source code for the website freely available, and do
you plan to accept outside contributions?

I hope you are willing to make this resource usable and trustworthy for
other developers. We really don't need multiple competing 3D model
repositories at this point.

> However, the
> models can just as well be freely used for any other purpose (ODbL
> license).

That's a worrisome choice, too - it seems that the models stored in the
repository will therefore become incompatible with OSM data if we ever
choose to use the relicensing clause of the Contributor Terms to switch
to a different license?

In my opinion, it would be more future-proof to define legal terms for
your repository that would always at least allow the models to be used
under the same license as the one used by OSM at that point in time. An
appropriate legal arrangement would have to be found, but I think that
this would be an important effort.


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