Let me firstly state that I am perfectly aware that OSM edits should be based on local knowledge or use sources that are compatible with ODbL. The terms of Google Maps clearly state:
… When using Google Maps/Google Earth, you may not (or allow those acting on your behalf to):
- use Google Maps/Google Earth to create or augment any other mapping-related dataset (including a mapping or navigation dataset, business listings database, mailing list, or telemarketing list) for use in a service that is a substitute for, or a substantially similar service to, Google Maps/Google Earth
To me, these terms make sense and are pretty easy to follow, but somehow the discussions on this topic still pop up in local changesets. While the original discussion questioned whether a certain interpretation of a copyrighted image copyrightable in the first place, I would like to take a different angle and present 4 examples. It would be interesting to see if there is a consensus on these examples:
Alice is traveling in Turkey and is looking for a place to eat. By using Google Maps, she finds a cafe called
The 37. After arriving, she discovers that the cafe is located exactly at 37°00’ N, 37°00’ E. The next day she checks if the place exists in OSM. It doesn’t, so she adds a new POI based on her local knowledge.
Bob was browsing Google Maps and accidentally stumbled upon a cafe called
The 37. He noticed the unique location and this seemed intriguing. He started looking for additional information. After visiting the cafe’s website, reading reviews on FB, he decided to also check OSM. Since it wasn’t there, he added the new POI using the cafe’s homepage as a source. (During that particular day, Bob had no intention to edit OSM. Bob had no local knowledge about the area.)
Charlie wanted to improve OSM map around his hometown by adding missing cafes and restaurants. He used Google Maps to find
The 37, a cafe he had never heard of. He double-checked very recent Street View imagery to ensure the place exists and added the cafe to OSM.
Dan has set up an automatic script/bot to query a random POI from Google Maps API and then import it to OSM. On one particular day, only a single cafe called
The 37 was randomly chosen and added to OSM.
For all these 4 examples, some form of knowledge transfer happened where information was sourced from Google Maps and as a result exactly the same information ends up in OSM:
<node lat="37.0000000" lon="37.0000000"> <tag k="amenity" v="cafe"/> <tag k="name" v="The 37"/> </node>