Whose map is it anyway?


A couple of tweets from GeoWeb yesterday got me thinking.

Apparently Michael Jones of Google was somewhat contradictory saying that what you put into Google you should be able to get out and then confirming that you could not get the content out of MapMaker. Does that matter? The data is free to view and to use (if you don’t need to access the vectors) through the Google Maps API or the Maps site.

TA & Navteq provide opportunities for user contributed QA but no way of retrieving or use let alone reuse.

At the other end of the scale (excuse pun) is an open data product like OSM where with very limited licensing conditions anyone regardless of whether they have contributed to building the dataset can access the data and use, reuse etc.

If you contribute data to a project should you be able to get it back? Either to withdraw your contribution, to extract a copy of what you contributed or to extract other peoples contributions?

Makes you wonder why people volunteer geographic information.