Google Monitoring Changes in OSM?

Posted by jremillard on 3 October 2013 in English (English)


This is a bridleway (horse race track) that I traced out last year. The bing map is the stage/MassGIS data. I remember the same road line in OSM.

Map Compare

You can see that Google has traced out the same path I used through the parking lot, and incorrectly traced out the bridleway as a two lane road. Google map maker says it was made by “Google Automated Data Quality Improver 1” on July 24th. The nodes are not in the exact same places, I bet they are monitoring OSM, and setting up tasks for the 7,000 strong mapping army they employ to trace new segments by hand when something new pops into OSM.

Hey google, you should probably not copy highway=bridleway from OSM as roads.

Location: Old Town Dump, Groton, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, 01463, USA

Comment from mcld on 3 October 2013 at 07:06

I do wonder if Google does any kind of monitoring - after all, there’s plenty of things they could do using OSM data without violating the licence.

But in this case, the fact that they traced it as a road not a bridleway suggests to me that they didn’t use your data! So they probably used manual tracing from aerial photo, or maybe even automatic tracing using one of their fancy algorithms. I’d imagine we’ll never know if they used your bridleway as any kind of inspiration… but it’s equally likely that they simply analysed the aerial photo themselves, because that’s what they do.

Comment from jremillard on 3 October 2013 at 13:57

It was mostly the fact that google has the same two mistakes I made.

  • That the road was extended through the parking, rather than making it a service road.
  • The trace through the parking lot has the same shape as my trace, which again is not very good.

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