[LINK] Google did it!

Alex (Maxious) Sadleir maxious at gmail.com
Tue Nov 9 18:49:25 AEDT 2010

On Tue, Nov 9, 2010 at 5:25 PM, Ambrose Andrews <ambrose-bulk at vrvl.net> wrote:
> On 9 November 2010 16:47, Tom Koltai <tomk at unwired.com.au> wrote:
>>> But their commander, Eden Pastora, told Costa Rica's largest
>>> newspaper, La Nacion, that Google Maps was used to
>>> <http://translate.google.com/translate?js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=U
>> TF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&sl=auto&tl=en&u=http://www.nacion.com/2010-11-04/El
>> Pais/NotasSecundarias/ElPais2577867.aspx>justify
>> the incursion. Nicaraguan government officials have also blamed a
>> "bug in Google" for the error.
>>  [article shows two different maps: Google and Bing]
>> The reason for the contretemps is obviously that the Nicauraguan
>> Government has the same cost control on information charges as the
>> Australian Government for maps.
>> In other words, you wanna map? Then pay please.
>> E,g,:
> This doesn't necessarily apply to map *data*, however.
> (I think the GA catalogue referred to physical paper maps)
> Federal government GIS data is often free:
> http://www.osdm.gov.au/OSDM/Policies+and+Guidelines/Spatial+Data+Access+and+Pricing/default.aspx

Not free enough. The OSDM Spatial licence has all sorts of gotchas
especially the termination clause. Compare this to something like the
Creative Commons Attribution - ShareAlike 3.0 Australia:
Still has attribution, liability/warranties and even some more about
making collections which seems pertinent to geospatial data.

Even with the OSDM licence, it's not widely used; see the
so-funny-it's-sad case of the National Public Toilet Map which
contains data so dangerous that it must be protected with it's own
custom licence: http://data.australia.gov.au/licence?id=610
And of course, both Geoscience Australia and the ABS saw reason and
simply licence their data when free under Creative Commons; the ABS
2006 suburb boundaries have been priceless when neither Australia Post
nor all state planning authorities have released similar data
(Queensland has Local Government and Property boundaries but perhaps
not suburbs for free, NSW still has "free but personal/non-commercial"
planning spatial data, Victoria just tells you to use the 2006 ABS

The closed nature of spatial information has a similar effect on
Google Maps in Australia; just look at the University of Canberra
campus which is known to it as a giant park called "Sports Centre"
. Yahoo maps just doesn't have coverage for Canberra at all.

To fix these kinds of issues in America, apparently Google used their
StreetView cars in combination with offering local governments free
licences for Google Earth in exchange for their closed data.

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