Copying from Google Maps

Posted by LeifRasmussen on 4 June 2018 in English (English)

Some OSM users copy from Google Maps. Others go as far as to add the tag “source”=”Google Maps” to features. By using Overpass Turbo, I was able to find all objects with “source” = “Google” and “Source” = “Google Maps”. This returned 2734 different features attributed to Google Maps. Click either the link above or this one to see every single one. Perhaps we can fix or delete them all together.
Please note that Overpass Turbo may take a minute or two to search the entire globe for “source”=”Google Maps”.

Comment from mmd on 4 June 2018 at 19:05

Remove all those ({{bbox}}) and your query will be much faster.

Comment from LeifRasmussen on 4 June 2018 at 20:43


Comment from Rovastar on 5 June 2018 at 02:04

source” = “Google” does not always mean from Google maps. Often for a small percentage of the population Google can just mean the Internet. With a million plus contributing to OSM it could be the case they might have used this generalisation.

Comment from SK53 on 5 June 2018 at 09:17

Please remember that after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti OSM had explicit permission to use some post-quake imagery owned by Google. In any analysis please make sure to take this into account.

Comment from Harry Wood on 5 June 2018 at 14:07

I feel like the “Don’t copy from google maps” thing is something we’ve repeated on various contact channels endlessly. These days id is prompting people to set a ‘source’ a bit more, and we can use changeset comments, but we should link people to official looking advice. Where’s the best advice place to link to? Maybe this FAQ entry.

Comment from Wynndale on 5 June 2018 at 16:57

@Rovastar I have very occasionally heard of that happening but even then the best that can be expected of the G-word apart from Haiti is that the contributor is confused about recording provenance and has to be asked to confirm that the mapping comes from a clean source, possibly using a changdset comment.

Of course it is often a good idea to contact the mapper anyway to set them on the right route.

Comment from Alan Trick on 8 June 2018 at 18:42

for a small percentage of the population Google can just mean the Internet

“the internet” is a pretty vague source. Ideally, sources should be a lot more specific than that.

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