Displaying custom route symbol on maps?

Hello,

I was wondering about future possibility to show an symbol tag other than osmc:symbol as a route symbol on mapping applications. Currently (as far as I can tell) only osmc:symbol tags can be shown, ideally wiki:symbol tags could also be shown.

The wiki shows how it is possible to add a tag for a svg symbol, for example hiking route symbols that can’t be describe with symbol geometric shapes. Many trails have rather complex route markers, like the Pacific Crest Trail.

Is there any reason why more complex logos shouldn’t be shown, or is it just up to application discretion?

it is up to application, but note that many images linked with wiki:symbol uploaded to OSM Wiki have unclear copyright status (some of them are listed in Category:Media without a license - OpenStreetMap Wiki ) for example see File:Amonit 12.png - OpenStreetMap Wiki or File:Amtsboten.png - OpenStreetMap Wiki

it is up to application, but note that many images linked with wiki:symbol uploaded to OSM Wiki have unclear copyright status

the template reads: “ If you have created this file yourself”
but copyright for drawings is not just about the “file”, logos in general are copyright protected and you cannot remove it by recreating a new file with the same drawing. I don’t know if there is a legal possibility to use artistic route markers without a license (fair use?) and am not suggesting that using them without license is definitely forbidden, maybe someone can chime in with more knowledge about the topic?

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this is intended to cover also design (and obviously, tracing logo/photo does not remove copyright)

do you have suggestion for better wording of that?

fair use may apply, but that depends on jurisdiction (warning: I am not a lawyer)

do you have suggestion for better wording of that?

maybe rather than “created the file yourself” it could be “if you own the copyright of the image”

In Nederland we are explicitly forbidden by the copyright holder (Wandelnet) to use the wellknown images for long distance hiking routes (white-over-red and yellow over red). They themselves are obliged to act on violations of the copyright. That is why we don’t use or link to the images in OSM, but describe the symbols in text in the symbol=* and osmc:symbol=* tags. Wandelnet cannot fight us over that, and in fact they are happy they don’t have to.
Renderers read the descriptive text and render something that looks like the image of a logo, but in fact it isn’t the copyrighted logo. If Wandelnet should want to sue e.g. Waymarkedtrails over that, they would lose a lot of money and the case. However, should we start using images of the logo, even if we take the photos ourselves on the streets, we would be in trouble.

That is why we don’t use or link to the images in OSM, but describe the symbols in text in the symbol=* and osmc:symbol=* tags. Wandelnet cannot fight us over that, and in fact they are happy they don’t have to.

can you explain why this depends on the language? osmc:symbol code is ok, but xml is not? (thinking about svg, which is not the image, just a description how to produce it, in your reading)

I think .svg is generally seen as an image, not a description. I doubt if you could win a case by arguing .svg is not an image but a description. I would like to see someone try it, if only to settle the issue!

I think .svg is generally seen as an image, not a description.

then I think osmc:symbol can also be seen as an image

I think osmc:symbol is generally seen as a description, not an image. Only with very simpel logo’s the description can produce the actual image. Even the description of the white-over-red symbol lacks all the details required to actually reproduce the image. white-over-red in itself is not licensed or copyrighted AFAIK. Again, I would like to see someone try a case.

there is a legal difference between using osmc:symbol:complex_copyrighted_shape_code and uploading copyrighted image somewhere.

In similar way as I can post title of a book without violating copyright, and posting full text of book would be problematic[1]

though “Renderers read the descriptive text and render something that looks like the image of a logo” may be problematic and works only because Wandelnet does not actually really want to enforce their full rights, basically it provides plausible deniability. I would not try it for example with Disney.

[1] except cases of openly licensed books, ones where copyright expired etc

If I describe “duck with clothes” I doubt that Disney will sue me.

exactly! But if you will draw Disney character with some slight distortion and will try to do something with this image you may have problems.

Using title/code/description is safe. Expanding it into actual image may be problematic.