Nike Grid - maps secretly based on OSM

Posted by Ollie on 20 April 2010 in English (English)

Nike is running a social-media based game on the streets of inner London on Friday - website is The idea is to run from phonebox to phonebox, phoning in at each one to get points. An innovative, Web 2.0-take on street orienteering.

The dynamic maps they are using are black-and-white filtered Microsoft Virtual Earth aerial imagery, delivered via Flash, with appropriate credit and weblink to Bing. The static version of the maps is based on OSM data - but you wouldn't know without looking carefully, as there's absolutely no attribution on this derived work. Several printed, folded copies of the maps have also been left in each of the phoneboxes concerned.

It's such an awesome idea I feel kind of bad calling them out on this, but it would be nice if they credited the project. (I did contact them a couple of days ago, without success.) I'm in two minds really - should we be concerned if companies use our work without attribution? Quite a few people consider their edits to be public domain. Does it really matter?

Full measured grumble on my blog:

Example map:

Comment from JimmyRocks on 20 April 2010 at 21:22

That's a real shame too, because the site it pretty cool. I definitely believe that OpenStreetMap needs to be cited in this case. Do they have any webmaster contact information?

Comment from JohnSmith on 20 April 2010 at 23:42

Reading an article about GPL violations it's generally better for everyone to not name and shame, except as a last resort.

This is no different than companies using GPL software, to get access to the map data they agreed they would attribute it properly and make available their changes, if they don't want to do that that's fine they can pay for someone else's map data which they will be bound by license agreement to attribute it properly.

As for public domain, it isn't legal in some jurisdictions, and for this to be a valid argument everyone committing changes in the area would have to agree with it.

Comment from kenguest on 21 April 2010 at 08:14

It certainly would be nice/useful for them to attribute OpenStreetMap for what they have done - at the very least we could use it as free advertising for the project. That said, John Smith probably has a valid point. Perhaps we just need to gently educate their legal dept?

Comment from marscot on 21 April 2010 at 14:08

yeah and if that does not work we can always quote on that they use OSM data.

Comment from Edward on 21 April 2010 at 15:09

Wikipedia maintains a wiki page that records unauthorized use of their data. We could do the same.

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