Google is pirating OSM

Posted by Paul Johnson on 18 May 2011 in English (English),-122.78183&spn=0.123633,0.308647&z=12

Knowing that while Sunset Highway is technically Northwest and Southwest by Portland standards (so it's not absolutely incorrect), yet, ODOT doesn't call Sunset Highway by either quadrant where no addresses front Sunset Highway, nor does any commercially available data or ODOT data set, I added "Northwest" and "Southwest" to that highway, after long suspecting Google was wholesale copying OSM based on prior, more subtle, detail edits I had made to OSM in the western Oregon and eastern Oklahoma areas (and thus, all of OSM) for months going on years. Since Google picked up the "NW/SW" gotcha on Sunset Highway, to me, this removes all doubt.

Does OSM actually enforce it's license and copyright? If so, how do we get this ball rolling? I'm /not/ going to work for Google for free if they're not going to provide attribution.

Comment from TomH on 18 May 2011 at 12:52

The procedure is set out in the wiki:

In this case it would probably be very hard to pursue the first step of trying to contact Google directly as it would be very hard to reach anybody with any power.

I have drawn your diary post to the attention of appropriate people anyway.

Comment from Andy Allan on 18 May 2011 at 13:04

Unless you're putting demonstratably false data into OSM and seeing it on Google, it's hard to be conclusive. If you're just adding the correct name - regardless of it not being in some other datasets you mention - it's hard to prove that someone else hasn't also independently corrected it in Google. After all, they have their Map Maker project where someone else just like you could be fixing things for them.

A deliberately incorrect tell-tale - like the famous Lye Close - would be more convincing.

Comment from iandees on 18 May 2011 at 13:09

Do you have any other, more-concrete backing for your claim? I looked at Google MapMaker history up and down Hwy 26 and the only change since the original data was generated was someone adding a bikelane flag to the road in April.

Also, there are plenty of businesses that use "Southwest Highway 26" as part of their address:

Comment from Peter Dobratz on 18 May 2011 at 13:17

Could it be that both OSM and Google started their map of the United States by using TIGER data?

I've seen a number of errors on both OSM and Google that clearly stem from the TIGER import.

I also noticed a few roads in West Linn, Oregon which had direction prefixes as imported from TIGER, but I removed the prefixes since they they do not appear on the actual road signs.

Comment from Paul Johnson on 18 May 2011 at 17:22

This naming glitch doesn't appear in Tiger, no, and Google previously did not have the name stylized in the same manner.

Comment from goldfndr on 21 May 2011 at 23:48

@iandees: "plenty" of businesses? I'm only seeing the cemetery. Try adding "-6801" to the query.

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