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Apple Switches (Mostly) To OpenStreetMap 218

Posted by timothy
from the wonder-about-the-gracenote-problem dept.
beelsebob writes "In the recent release of iPhoto for iOS it appears that Apple has started using OpenStreetMap's data. Unfortunately, there are still some problems. Apple is currently not applying the necessary attribution to OSM; they are using an old (from April 2010) dump of the data; and they are not using the data in the U.S. Fingers crossed that Apple works through these issues quickly! Apple is now one of a growing list (including geocaching, and foursquare) to Switch2OSM."
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Apple Switches (Mostly) To OpenStreetMap

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  • Re:Map Data Files (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 08, 2012 @11:23AM (#39288105)

    http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Planet.osm#BitTorrent

  • Re:hahaha (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 08, 2012 @11:24AM (#39288137)

    Yeah. Because Apple never gives back to the digital community. Oh. Wait. http://www.apple.com/opensource/

    So, yeah, I'll take that bet.

  • Re:lol (Score:5, Informative)

    by JonasH (183422) on Thursday March 08, 2012 @11:26AM (#39288167) Homepage

    It's under CC-BY-SA, which does. So yeah.

  • by agentgonzo (1026204) on Thursday March 08, 2012 @11:31AM (#39288239)
    Whilst OSM is very good for free data, there are still pockets of areas where the coverage is very poor indeed. I had to map out half of my uncle's town as it just wasn't there on OSM (about 9 months ago). At every stage, it's getting better, but the more 'big players' that start to switch to it, the more momentum it will get and the better the coverage will be as more contributors flow in.

    This is especially the case as parts of the OSM dataset are about to be wiped out due to the forthcoming remapping [openstreetmap.org].
  • Re:lol (Score:4, Informative)

    by dair (210) on Thursday March 08, 2012 @11:38AM (#39288353)

    It is not yet under ODbL - the licence changeover is planned for the 1st April 2012 (however Apple appear to be using data from circa 2010, which was definitely under CC-BY-SA).

  • Silly headline (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 08, 2012 @11:38AM (#39288357)

    They are using OpenStreetMap in one iOS photo editing application that costs $5. I would hardly call that "mostly switching." More like the first toe in the water.

  • Re:Maps? (Score:5, Informative)

    by beelsebob (529313) on Thursday March 08, 2012 @11:41AM (#39288417)

    I'm in the process of implementing an editor and viewer for iOS called OpenStreetPad [slashdot.org], if you love the idea, feel free to contribute!

  • Re:Maps? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Azureflare (645778) on Thursday March 08, 2012 @11:56AM (#39288641)

    OpenStreetPad [github.com]

    FTFY. Thanks, looks like a great project!

  • by beelsebob (529313) on Thursday March 08, 2012 @11:58AM (#39288665)

    OSM doesn't exclude elevation data. You can tag any node you like as "ele="... But, 1) most nodes in OSM are not created directly from GPS traces, but instead by inputting a cleaned up version, because the GPS data is a bit noisy 2) GPS is very bad at gathering height data –it's roughly 20 times less accurate for height data than for horizontal location.

  • Re:hahaha (Score:4, Informative)

    by Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) on Thursday March 08, 2012 @12:10PM (#39288855) Journal

    Strangely, that list doesn't have Webkit or LLVM on it. That's by far their two greatest contributions. Webkit, one might note was based off of exsiting project KHTML. The history there wasn't good. They essentially ignored the existing community around KHTML, took the code modified it with all sorts of OSX only hooks, released that to comply with the license (GPL or LGPL). Then a couple years later they did it the correct way and created the webkit open source project. Konqueror now defaults to the Webkit implimentation and all is well. Although, google isn't that much better at working with existing open source communities, if you look at chromium browser.

    So, yeah, there is still an uneasy feeling when it comes to Apple and open source projects.

  • Re:Are they sure? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Phil Gregory (1042) <phil_g+slashdot@pobox.com> on Thursday March 08, 2012 @12:19PM (#39289035) Homepage
    There's a lot of data that's only in OpenStreetMap, as compared to the other big map data providers like Navteq. In addition to roads, OpenStreetMap has bicycle paths, pedestrian paths, hiking trails, and a host of other things that are not generally collected in other general-purpose road databases. At least one person on the OSM mailing lists has pointed to an area where he added some but not all of the hiking trails in an area and Apple is showing only the trails he added to OpenStreetMap. Even more conclusive, though, is that when you overlay the two on each other, such as at http://ivan.sanchezortega.es/leaflet-apple.php [sanchezortega.es] , there are quite a lot of places where the data matches exactly--not just "both have a road here", but "every point making up Apple's road lies exactly on top of a point making up OpenStreetMap's road".
  • Re:lol (Score:5, Informative)

    by dair (210) on Thursday March 08, 2012 @12:22PM (#39289083)

    The map tiles are certainly Apple's own - they have defined their own stylesheet, with their own look.

    However the map data those tiles were rendered from appears to be a mix of TIGER in the US and OSM elsewhere. TIGER is a public domain dataset from the US Census Bureau, and OSM is CC-BY-SA.

    Looking at the shape of the data is often enough to tell you where it came from. One one level it's modelling the same reality, but in practice mappers tend to make slightly different versions of "the same" object (a road might be smoothly curved, or quite angular, depending on how much effort they went to). As such you can quite easily see when data comes from the same source, even if it's rendered in a different style.

    It's pretty conclusively OSM if you look at which small features [wordpress.com] (footpaths, lanes within a car park, etc) are rendered. This data isn't present in the commercial datasets you can licence from people like TomTom, however it is in OSM (neither Navteq nor TeleAtlas have footpaths, or this kind of micro-mapping of lanes within parking areas).

    Based on things like this, typos which appear on both maps, and roads that are in OSM now but aren't in Apple's tiles - it looks pretty clear that they used a snapshot of OSM, specifically one from early April 2010.

  • Re:hahaha (Score:4, Informative)

    by icebraining (1313345) on Thursday March 08, 2012 @12:23PM (#39289101) Homepage

    parts of chrome may be OSS

    True, but misleading. It's more like "small parts of chrome are proprietary". Almost all of it OSS and included in Chromium [chromium.org].

    The V8 Javascript engine, for example, was all developed by Google and released under the BSD license.

  • by ackthpt (218170) on Thursday March 08, 2012 @12:25PM (#39289155) Homepage Journal

    The past story with khtml webkit, and the recent story about apple-only planned features in CUPS, and the general attitude of big and small commercial entities towards free software, should make people just a little wary.

    Simple roadmap for you: If it is within Apple's Patents they are stingy. When it is outside of Apple's Patents they can be very generous.

  • Re:hahaha (Score:4, Informative)

    by beelsebob (529313) on Thursday March 08, 2012 @12:50PM (#39289503)

    No, it looks like they took an April 2010 planet dump a while ago, and haven't updated since, which isn't great. This rather suggests that they don't know that they're using OSM data. Hence my bet being that one of the companies they bought used OSM data as a starting point, and then claimed to apple that it was theirs.

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