I’m not sure if that’s allowable or not, but that’s my observation. I might be wrong–maybe someone can show me that Google has had the main trail built out this whole time, and I simply missed it–if so I’m happy to be wrong.
I’ve been trying to build-out OSM in a friend’s area, roads, navigation, even foot paths. One area I’ve spent some time on is nature trails, I believe there’s value in mappinng known foot paths, so that’s what I’ve been doing. When I first started, Google Maps showed a very rough, single line, for the trail I’d been mapping, except the North portion where it properly showed a loop. It also only noted 2 of the main trails by name (Central, North).
Over the past few weeks I’ve spent some time mapping the trails, and trying to get them as accurate as possible in OSM, so re-visits occur. I’ve also added all the proper names for the trail where available. Today, I looked at Google Maps’ version just to compare the “aesthetic” differences (because it’s fun to compare your own hard work to that of a global conglomerate’s and see that you’ve done more lol), and I noticed that Google Maps suddenly has built out more of the trail, added more names, and even marked one as a normal footpath (for some odd reason, because it’s not). What really caught my eye was one of the utility trails I mapped.
I mean, maybe they’re allowed to copy OSM, and maybe they have people walking the trails (this is doubtful). They aren’t using trail maps given by the local City government, because the City doesn’t keep trail maps, the only one they have is outdated and doesn’t mark which bridges no longer exist–I’ve been doing that in OSM. If Google had someone walking the trail, they wouldn’t have drawn a bridge in place which doesn’t exist, but that’s apparently what they’ve done.
Here’s a link to the google view: https://firstname.lastname@example.org,-76.2340444,16z
Here it is in OSM: http://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=16/36.7408/-76.2351