Derived Works from Google Maps

Derived Works from Google Maps

Platial, Tagzania and many of the rest, and even open and free Geonames, all make use of Google Maps satellite and street imagery to derive latitude and longitude of user contributed annotations. Most all of the 130,000+ Geotagged flickr photos are positioned via Google Maps. I’m wondering and worrying about the copyright status of these derived works. They may be on shaky legal ground.

From the GMaps API Terms of Use and the Google Local Terms of Use

“Also, you may not use Google Local in a manner which gives you or any other person access to mass downloads or bulk feeds of numerical latitude and longitude coordinates.”

“You to display map images only, and does not provide You with the ability to access the underlying map data”

“You may use the API to display map images in conjunction with other information You provide to end users”

Plainly, Google Maps are intended as a means of presenting data, not producing it. What does this mean in practice for these social mapping practices? The possibility is there that Google or its data providers could claim ownership over, for example, Platial’s 100K+ POI. Can Google and other mapping providers elaborate on this status?

OpenStreetMap has considered this issue carefully, and made every effort to be free of legal ambiguities.
Why don’t you just use Google Maps/whoever for your data? spells out the position. Producing street maps is a more fundamental type of data acquisition than points of interest .. is it possible to draw a line between fair use and protected use of copyright maps?

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