links for 2006-05-29

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  1. Posted May 30, 2006 at 01:05 | Permalink

    The works of Shakespeare are out of copyright, but most people don’t mind paying for a printed version. Why would a map be any different?

  2. Posted May 30, 2006 at 10:25 | Permalink

    One doesn’t pay a government department — to whom one pays taxes! — to reprint the out-of-copyright Shakespeare works.

  3. Posted May 30, 2006 at 10:29 | Permalink

    I’d be really annoyed if I thought that my taxes were being spent on maps just to make you happy :) Seriously though – I don’t see why this is such a big issue. If you don’t pay for the reprint who will? I do think it’s a bit much that they charge that much for accessing the full service though..

  4. Posted May 30, 2006 at 11:16 | Permalink

    Michele — it’s not a massive issue. But to be honest, the OSI’s stranglehold on Irish geodata is becoming a bigger issue as time goes on; compare the apps being built on top of Google Maps, and other geographical apps built on a foundation of open geodata, free public APIs, and so on.

    Ireland is incapable of taking part in this, and this is largely because the organisations that have that data, are keeping very strong proprietary control over it in a (misguided) attempt to extract maximum profit. In particular the OSI needs to be singled out, because it’s the one org that should be considering freedom, being state-funded.

    As a result, public access to geographical info in Ireland is atrocious. There isn’t even a public website which can give me correct driving directions from my house in Stoneybatter to the Blanchardstown Shopping Centre! In this day and age, this is, quite frankly, shocking, when you compare it against the amazing mapping innovations coming from the US, New Zealand and elsewhere.

  5. tom
    Posted May 30, 2006 at 13:36 | Permalink

    What’s shocking Justin is that: a) you want to go to the blanchardstown shopping centre, and b) you don’t know how to

  6. tom
    Posted May 30, 2006 at 13:39 | Permalink

    anyway what about this?

  7. Posted May 30, 2006 at 14:01 | Permalink

    hey Tom — of course I know how to! You take the 39 bus, of course ;)

    Why is it shocking that I don’t know how to drive there, seeing as I haven’t been living (or driving) in Ireland for the past three years? How are you at driving to Long Beach from Irvine, then? ;)

    I’ve tried that DTO Journey Planner. Give it a go. Here’s what will happen:

    • First problem: you have two options, “walk” or “cycle”. no “drive”. Not even a “bus”, “train”, or “luas”.

    • Second problem: give it “blanchardstown shopping centre” as a destination, and the options it’ll present are as follows:


    A keen observer will note that none of those (a) mention, or (b) are within 5 miles of, Blanch. In summary, the DTO Journey Planner is a half-assed hack, probably enough to get a press release together for the DTO, but not actually useful per se once you give it an address outside of the canals.

    It’s quite funny if you ask it about getting to Kilcock though — it suggests taking a 5 hour walk to get there.

  8. tom
    Posted May 30, 2006 at 15:52 | Permalink

    type it in the “business address” box.

    I find the journey planner quite useful.

    There are signposts as you approach the centre for people who have difficulty finding things in a car

  9. Ivan Tubert-Brohman
    Posted May 30, 2006 at 16:25 | Permalink

    I also thought of the Shakespeare example–it’s not wrong to sell public domain works. But then I looked at the copyright section on the site, and there they claim to own all rights to the maps. THAT is wrong if I understand copyright correctly.

  10. Posted May 30, 2006 at 16:53 | Permalink

    Tom — ‘There are signposts as you approach the centre for people who have difficulty finding things in a car’

    Yes, that’s right — I shouldn’t be looking for directions. Only stupid people who can’t read signs need directions up-front.

    Ivan — actually, it is indeed legal to derive a proprietary work from a public domain one, as far as I know.

  11. David Malone
    Posted May 30, 2006 at 20:37 | Permalink

    Whatever way the copyright stuff for maps works, the OSI have a really strong grip on things. For example, I’ve copied bits of the 1840 maps in TCD’s map library. You pay an extra fee for copying them (over the photocopying cost) and they are stampped on the back to saying which maps they were taken from (and I think which library).

    I guess this may be because the TCD library bought these maps from the OSI less than 70 years ago, and there is a copyright on the imprint in addtition to the map itself.

  12. Nix
    Posted June 9, 2006 at 20:25 | Permalink

    Yes, polypaudio is truly excellent. I’ve been using it for a year or so, and kept using it even when Lennart got distracted by avahi and polypaudio seemingly died: it was protocol- and library-compatible with esd and didn’t have the stupid broken authentication mechanism, the stuttering, or the CPU-hoggishness of esd.

    Plus the plugin idea is deeply cool (even if I hardly use any of them, the idea is still excellent).

  13. Posted July 26, 2006 at 20:29 | Permalink

    Hi Justin, while the Ordnance Survey is not completely blameless, the Department of Finance would have a fit if the raw data was let go for nothing. The drive for revenue and profit comes from the DofF, and it is an issue across other semi states as well (eg the Marine Institute,Teagasc etc) jd

  14. Posted July 26, 2006 at 21:01 | Permalink

    hey JD — thanks for the comment.

    interesting to hear that. It’s a pity that government, one of the few bodies that can give stuff away for free while fulfilling their remit, feels the need to remove that ability ;)

  15. MikeO
    Posted January 29, 2007 at 17:14 | Permalink

    Are the OSI planning on selling maps for in car GPS navigators? I used it in France and USA. It takes the stress out of getting around an area you’re not familiar with. Safer also as it leaves you time to see what’s going on around you without having to panic at every junction looking up and down from the road to a map. When I got back to Ireland most the roads were missing from the GPS. This was ok for me as I knew my way around, but useless to visitors form abroad

  16. Posted January 29, 2007 at 17:28 | Permalink

    MikeO — I agree, they’re brilliant.

    apparently some of the devices now have accurate road-navigation data; not from OSI, but from NavTeq. that’s the name to look out for — I think the new NavTeq data came out last year and is now very reliable.