atom feed4 messages in com.googlegroups.mapping-howtoRe: Difference between Google Map Mak...
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Dan DascalescuJan 29, 2010 7:54 pm 
JenMazzFeb 3, 2010 10:21 am 
JenMazzFeb 4, 2010 10:49 pm 
ArmenFeb 8, 2010 6:10 pm 
Subject:Re: Difference between Google Map Maker and OpenStreetMap (OSM) and Wikimapia?
From:JenMazz (
Date:Feb 3, 2010 10:21:34 am

Dear Dan,

Here are some answers to your questions about Google Map Maker :-)

Just as Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful, Google Earth/Map/Map Maker's mission is to organize the world's *geographic* information and make it universally accessible and useful.

Millions of people use Google Earth & Google Maps every day. Google is constantly innovating and investing heavily in improvements, tools and resources to make these services more useful and accessible -- for example driving directions, updated satellite imagery, mobile access, Latitude, Street View and multiple public APIs. Most of the people using Google Map Maker are habitual Google Maps users who want to see their neighborhood/region/country represented accurately and completely on Google Maps. Map Maker data is routinely published to Google Maps and made further available via a public API and the recently expanded data download program, which has enabled humanitarian organizations' use of Map Maker data for relief efforts.

We are supportive of others' efforts to enable people to create a rich base map of the world. For instance, Google imagery via our APIs (the same APIs used by many users worldwide) has contributed to OSM's success. We have previously sponsored OSM's efforts and explored with them how to work together. A sticking point in these past discussions has been OSM's share-alike license clause, according to which any data we combine with their data set must be shared back to OSM. Since we routinely combine proprietary 3rd party and user-contributed data sets on Google Maps in order to create the world's richest base map, we cannot share these combined data sets back to OSM.

There are many people who want to improve maps of places they care about -- plenty enough to support the existence of multiple online mapping tools with different functionality and capabilities. We are glad that many people and organizations are working on the important goal of mapping the world.



On Jan 29, 7:54 pm, Dan Dascalescu <> wrote:

I thought this was an FAQ, but couldn't find any answer from someone at Google. The Wikipedia page on Google Map Maker states:

  "The project is similar to OpenStreetMap, but unlike OSM   which provides its map data under a Creative Commons   license, any maps created by users of Google Map Maker   are the intellectual property of Google."

OpenStreetMaps is free, more open, already in place, has extensive coverage, and lots of mechanisms to improve maps: software that parse GPS tracks and uploads the data to OSM, browser-based map editor, and even an Android GPS navigation app that maps unknown places as you drive through them (AndNav2). OSM lets us in the USA, UK, Australia and other "well-mapped commercially" countries update the map with punctual local knowledge which the big commercial guys don't bother with (new or temporarily closed roads, location of post boxes etc.).

Wikimapia is also completely open, CC-licensed, and has identified of some of the most obscure buildings you'd want.

Therefore, I have a few questions:

In the context of OSM, what is the purpose of Google Map Maker?

How is Map Maker / Map Your World better than Open Street Maps?

Why split the community between the two projects?

Licensing questions

Can't GMM simply slurp all the data from OSM, then build off that?

How will the GMM data be available? For example, 3rd navigation software is not allowed to use Google Maps for turn-by-turn direction (that's why AndNav2 exists - AndNav1 uses Google Maps, but could not give directions turn-by-turn).

I'm not saying GMM is a bad idea (I personally prefer the openness of OSM); competition will hopefully improve both products. It would be interesting to contrast the two system and find out the rationale for creating GMM and reasons why I'd use it over OSM.