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Why the World Needs OpenStreetMap 162

Posted by Soulskill
from the because-hole-in-the-wall-restaurants-are-the-best dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Over the past six months, we've all grown a bit more skeptical about who controls our data, and what they do with it. An article at The Guardian says it's time for people to start migrating en masse away from proprietary map providers to OpenStreetMap in order to both protect our collective location data and decide how it is displayed. From the article: 'Who decides what gets displayed on a Google Map? The answer is, of course, that Google does. I heard this concern in a meeting with a local government in 2009: they were concerned about using Google Maps on their website because Google makes choices about which businesses to display. The people in the meeting were right to be concerned about this issue, as a government needs to remain impartial; by outsourcing their maps, they would hand the control over to a third party. ... The second concern is about location. Who defines where a neighborhood is, or whether or not you should go? This issue was brought up by the American Civil Liberties Union when a map provider was providing routing (driving/biking/walking instructions) and used what it determined to be "safe" or "dangerous" neighborhoods as part of its algorithm.'"
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Why the World Needs OpenStreetMap

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @09:20PM (#45960309)

    ACLU can protest, but I'd far rather have a system that gets me around neighborhoods where I get a gun shoved in my face for my ride, then another with the trigger pulled in my face for being the wrong race in the wrong place.

    In fact, I wouldn't mind a service that can make and keep current heat maps so I can glance at somewhere like Cleveland or LA and know what routes to take so I don't end up having my vehicle (and my cranium) perforated by .40 ammo so a gangbanger can "blood in" and show it off via a YouTube video.

    There was a company that was doing heat maps of crime, but they have not done a single update in two years.

  • by icebike (68054) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @10:19PM (#45960739)

    Openstreetmaps can't find a Starbucks in Seattle.

    That's a feature. Seattlites know good coffeeshops from Starbucks.

    Challenge accepted:

    Zoom to Seattle down town: Search Coffee shops
    Google: Map turns pink with hits
    OSM: On shop in Singapore


  • by dwater (72834) on Wednesday January 15, 2014 @12:53AM (#45961789)

    I always found Nokia maps to be better than Google maps on my phone, but I haven't used it since Nokia switch to Microsoft only.
    I'm looking forward to trying 'here maps', which is what came out of it in the shake, once it is available for other platforms : []

    However, I guess it has similar issues to Google in this context.

  • by icebike (68054) on Wednesday January 15, 2014 @02:30AM (#45962285)

    Point is, Google found it without me knowing a thing abut some "traditional" mode of addressing in NYC.

    Quick, what's the traditional mode of address presentation in La Paz Bolivia?
    Q: Why should you have to know that?
    A: Because your hatred of Google makes you use an inferior product.

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