[OSM-talk] "The Future of Free and Open-Source Maps" Slashdot.org , Saturday February 17, 2018

Maarten Deen mdeen at xs4all.nl
Sat Feb 17 10:29:47 UTC 2018


On 2018-02-17 10:56, Oleksiy Muzalyev wrote:
> This article is on the front page of the Slashdot today:
> 
> Fri 16 February 2018 "Why OpenStreetMap is in Serious Trouble"
> 
> https://blog.emacsen.net/blog/2018/02/16/osm-is-in-trouble/

Interesting that he mentions that "the proprietary mapping world has 
continued to improve in data quality".

In the Netherlands I see the opposite for google maps. Sure, they may 
have improved their coverage in areas that were badly mapped of old 
(Africa, Asia) and I'm sure this can be contributed to OSM, but where 
Google starts to go haywire is in the properly mapped areas.
New roads appear weeks even, months after they are finished (Netherlands 
A5 or the roundabout at Joure where Google even now gives you an option 
over the roundabout that does not exist anymore) but also in names of 
places. Google has started to use very quaint and hardly used 
translations for cities abroad.
For instance, Ljubljana is now displayed as Laibach, Maribor is Marburg 
an der Drau, both German translations at best and not used in the 
Netherlands. Or a few even weirder ones in france, a place called Oz 
just north of l'Alpe D'Huez is now called Oostzijde (eastside) or 
Oradour-sur-Glane which shows as "Bloedbad van Oradour-sur-Glane" 
(bloodbath of Oradour-sur-Glane)

No, I don't make these up. In my eyes these things are a lot more 
serious than a perceived general malaise in OSM. Because other than in 
OSM, as you correctly point out, I can not change these incorrect items 
in Google. I can halfheartedly issue a defect but the reporting process 
is flawed in itself and the general feeling is that noting is done with 
those reports.

No, I don't see a bleak future for OSM, instead, I the quality of (in 
this case) google maps slipping. That does not mean that the future of 
google maps is in danger, Google as more than enough money to throw at 
it. But to think that this free open thing with no money is hitting a 
dead and the the closed thing with lots of money is thriving is also not 
true.

Maarten



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