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Using Data from Web Based Mapping

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#1
mrfaize

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I've had this discussion on other non-cartographic forums before and was wondering what people view point was on this.

Can you legally trace data/derive maps from the likes of Google Earth/Maps? My understanding is that you cannot due to the terms of service.

Google Maps/Earth Terms of Service http://maps.google.c...terms_maps.html

2. Restrictions on Use. Unless you have received prior written authorization from Google (or, as applicable, from the provider of particular Content), you must not:

( b ) copy, translate, modify, or make derivative works of the Content or any part thereof


What prompted me was this post http://www.cartotalk...&...ost&p=25989

Comments or views please

#2
Nick H

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I suppose that objects traced in Google Earth must come into the category of 'derived works', but GE does provide very strong features for tracing points, lines and polygons. These can can of course be saved as KML directly from GE and converted to SHP, et cetera, for use in GIS. I wonder if Google really do worry about this? So far as I know they don't assert their rights in this area (but I haven't looked that carefully).

Perhaps they are more concerned about protecting themselves from liability in cases that might end up in court, perhaps, say, where derived data might have been used for mapping in a boundary dispute. It's not difficult to imagine cases where bad mapping might lead to litigation.

Regards, N.
Caversham, Reading, England.

#3
Dennis McClendon

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I don't see any problem with tracing from aerial photos. The factual content of any publication cannot be protected by copyright in the US. Only the expression can be protected by copyright.

Now licensing agreements can be stricter than copyright laws, but I think this distinction between facts and expression would be considered by any court deciding whether a work is derivative or not. After all, the very purpose of Google Maps is to tell where things are. A much more problematic derivative work would be an atlas that republishes the aerial photography for a particular city.
Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
chicagocarto.com

#4
Esther Mandeno

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I think Dennis hit it on the nail!
------
Esther Mandeno
Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving. - Albert Einstein

#5
David Medeiros

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I believe it's just fine to use Google Maps and similar as the basis for your own original works. This includes using them to fact check your data or digitize directly from them (tracing). Copyright protects the look and arrangement of original works but does not prevent you from using copyrighted works as sources of factual information (ie, you can take data from a phone book but you can not copy the look or design of the phone book).

GIS Reference and Instruction Specialist, Stanford Geospatial Center.

 

www.mapbliss.com

 


#6
Robert2009

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How about add your own Disclaimer on your map ? Would that be different from copyright ?

#7
David Medeiros

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How about add your own Disclaimer on your map ? Would that be different from copyright ?


How do you mean? a Disclaimer is usually a warning against improper use of the map such that might result in liability on your part, not a protection against plagiarism.

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#8
mrfaize

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I think there must be some differences in the legal systems between the US and UK and probably other parts of the world which I am not going to try and understand. Having researched a bit more it seems that maps and data maybe used in the US to derive a new product as you cannot copyright fact. You can only copyright the appearance of the map - am I correct? Probably plagiarism is a different issue.

I have also seen articles mentioning that "Map Traps" are of little legal use in the US. However in recent years there has been legal ongoings between two UK organisations after one allegedly copied the others mapping amounting to a £20M settlement.

So whilst you maybe able to use images from Google Maps without breach of copyright what about the Terms of Use from Google themselves? This is nothing to do with copyright but how you use their web service.




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