OpenStreetMap

Some map improvements in Bodenseekreis, Baden-Württemberg, Germany

Posted by Chrysopras on 29 September 2011 in German (Deutsch)

While sorting some photographs I took this summer, I noted that many towns and villages in the Bodenseekreis, Baden-Württemberg, have still rather poor town maps in our OpenStreetMap. I try to improve at least some of them, because I have to look for street names, important buildings (like churches) etc. anyway when sorting my photographs. The sources for all these changes are a) printed maps and town maps, b) the Bing photograph, c) my memories, photographs and notes.

[Postscript: the wording of the previous sentence gives a wrong impression, therefore some clarification is necessary: I did NOT copy any parts of printed maps or town maps – this would be illegal –, my changes are completely based on the Bing aerial images and on my own photographs, notes about street names etc. and memories. I just took a look at some printed maps to double-check if I understand my own notes and interpret my photographs and the Bing images correctly.]

Please don’t shout at me if I do something not perfectly correctly; if you happen to live in that nice landscape yourself, please be gentle with some errors of a pure tourist and improve the maps ;–) But some areas of our maps are so bad (see, for example, the town map of Rickenbach, a district of Salem, before I changed it: most streets and all street names were missing!), that even if I make some errors while changing the map it will be still far better than not changing that bad map areas at all.

Comment from sdoerr on 29 September 2011 at 10:59

'The sources for all these changes are a) printed maps and town maps [...]'

NO, NO, NO!!

Well, unless German copyright law is different from most other people's.

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Comment from LivingWithDragons on 29 September 2011 at 11:08

You can only copy printed/town maps if you have permission from the copyright owner to use it for OpenStreetMap. Even if they don't have a copyright note on them to say who owns it, they are still copyrighted. Although there is some legal-uncertainty/confusion about maps, there are some test cases and the majority of OpenStreetMap prefer to play it safe by not copying them without permission.

The same with aerial imagery, but we have permission from the kind people from Microsoft Bing to copy their aerial imagery (not maps or side photos). I expect the copyright owner/photographer (yourself) will give you permission to use those.

You are very right to give it a try. I think most mappers will be kind and send a friendly message if they see an error. I briefly looked at some of your edits, and they seem good.

(From England) I went to a wedding in Tubingen/Reutlingen earlier this summer. Wonderful place and I had great fun. I didn't turn my GPS on much though, thinking Germany was fully mapped. When I continue working through my backlog of GPS tracks/photos, I too will see if there is anything I can map there.

The JOSM editor is very good for seeing where photos were taken, if you also had a GPS turned on at the same time. http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/JOSM

I hope you enjoy improving OpenStreetMap.

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Comment from Richard on 29 September 2011 at 11:12

"unless German copyright law is different from most other people's"

It isn't. Well, not like that. sdoerr is right - don't copy from other maps, and please remove any changes you have already made that were based on other maps.

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Comment from Chrysopras on 1 October 2011 at 09:53

Hello sdoerr, LivingWithDragons, Richard and jaltux,

thank you very much from your comments. But you don’t need to shout at me (“O, NO, NO!!”: I understand the uppercase letters as crying ;-).

I have not done anything illegal, I know well about the German copyright law concerning maps. I just made some errors in my wording — sorry for that! When I wrote “The sources for all these changes are a) printed maps and town maps […]”, I did NOT mean that I had copied any maps or parts of maps. I just meant that I took a look at some printed maps to double-check if my notes, my memory and my intepretation of my own photographs and of the Bind aerial imagery are correct. There can’t be anything illegal about such a quick look at some map, at least according to German copyrigth law.

Therefore, as I did not copy anything from any map, we don’t need to remove “any changes [I] have already made that were based on other maps”. I’m sorry again for my wrong wording and will give better descriptions of the sources for any edits I will do in future.

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Comment from Chrysopras on 1 October 2011 at 11:49

Two postscripts to my previous comments:
1) Sorry for the typos – I was in a hurry but wanted to respond quickly.
2) I have added an addendum to the blog entry above for clarification.

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