Skip to main content

Again about the terms of use of geo-services

3 replies [Last post]
Anonymous

First, we can definitely remove Google Maps off our radars, as
anticipated by many in this mailing list. This document contains some
excerpts of a letter from Michael T. Jones, Chief Technologist,
Google Earth, which shut down an open source project using Google
Maps outside of the official APIs:

http://googlesystem.blogspot.com/2006/11/gaia-open-source-google-
earth.html

While it's nothing new, to me it's important as it is an official
position from a Google employee. I've just dropped all the code and
support from my applications (note: there's a comment in a blog that
points out as Gaia accessed Google Earth data, not Google Maps - they
are two different things, but the "spirit" of the letter sounds clear
to me).

Tonight I'm studying the legal stuff of the other provider, Microsoft
Visual Earth. While there are some applications that access the tiles
outside Microsoft APIs (and are well publicized at
www.viavisualearth.com, which is a site known by Microsoft), there's
a passage in the Terms of Use that sounds pretty good, and another
that sounds bad.

http://www.microsoft.com/virtualearth/control/terms.mspx

5.3 User Action. You will not, and will not authorize any third party
to, use any automated means including, without limitation, agents,
robots, scripts or spiders, to access the API. Geocodes or reverse
geocodes from the API may only be used in conjunction with the
Service. You will not take any action that imposes an unreasonably or
disproportionately large burden on Microsoft's infrastructure,
including the API, as determined by Microsoft in its reasonable
discretion. You may not (i) access the underlying map data,
photographic imagery, or the 3D model geometry and textures, other
than through documented methods Microsoft provides to You; (ii) work
around any technical limitations in the API; (iii) reverse engineer,
decompile or disassemble the API, except and only to the extent that
applicable law expressly permits, despite this limitation; or (iv)
publish any part of the API for others to copy.

Now, note that Microsoft published an official article about the tile
structure (http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb259690.aspx),
so I'd say that writing brand new code based on that documentation
_is_ a way of accessing the service "through documented methods
Microsoft provides to You".

But there is this other condition:

USE OF THE SERVICE. You may use the API to access and use the Service
to display Results (as defined below in Section 4) within Your
Application. As used herein, an "Application" is a computer program
or website owned or controlled by You that uses the Service. You are
not permitted to use the API or the Service on any intranet or non-
public website, unless You have a MWS/VE Agreement that includes such
rights.

The Application that accesses the Service can't be in an intranet or
non-public website. In your opinion (asking to english motherlanguage
speakers), does a standalone application used at home fall in this
category?

--
Fabrizio Giudici, Ph.D. - Java Architect, Project Manager
Tidalwave s.a.s. - "We make Java work. Everywhere."
weblogs.java.net/blog/fabriziogiudici - www.tidalwave.it/blog
Fabrizio.Giudici@tidalwave.it - mobile: +39 348.150.6941

---------------------------------------------------------------------
To unsubscribe, e-mail: jdnc-unsubscribe@jdnc.dev.java.net
For additional commands, e-mail: jdnc-help@jdnc.dev.java.net

Reply viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Joshua Marinacci

Thanks for following up on this Fabrizio. It's good for us to know
the status of the various mapping options out there. I think we
should start looking for better access to NASA's tile data (I'm
currently using 2km data but I think 8m is available somewhere).
Perhaps I need to get a GPS and start mapping out Oregon. :)

thanks,

- J

On May 24, 2007, at 1:32 PM, Fabrizio Giudici wrote:

> First, we can definitely remove Google Maps off our radars, as
> anticipated by many in this mailing list. This document contains
> some excerpts of a letter from Michael T. Jones, Chief
> Technologist, Google Earth, which shut down an open source project
> using Google Maps outside of the official APIs:
>
> http://googlesystem.blogspot.com/2006/11/gaia-open-source-google-
> earth.html
>
> While it's nothing new, to me it's important as it is an official
> position from a Google employee. I've just dropped all the code and
> support from my applications (note: there's a comment in a blog
> that points out as Gaia accessed Google Earth data, not Google Maps
> - they are two different things, but the "spirit" of the letter
> sounds clear to me).
>
>
>
>
> Tonight I'm studying the legal stuff of the other provider,
> Microsoft Visual Earth. While there are some applications that
> access the tiles outside Microsoft APIs (and are well publicized at
> www.viavisualearth.com, which is a site known by Microsoft),
> there's a passage in the Terms of Use that sounds pretty good, and
> another that sounds bad.
>
>
>
> http://www.microsoft.com/virtualearth/control/terms.mspx
>
> 5.3 User Action. You will not, and will not authorize any third
> party to, use any automated means including, without limitation,
> agents, robots, scripts or spiders, to access the API. Geocodes or
> reverse geocodes from the API may only be used in conjunction with
> the Service. You will not take any action that imposes an
> unreasonably or disproportionately large burden on Microsoft's
> infrastructure, including the API, as determined by Microsoft in
> its reasonable discretion. You may not (i) access the underlying
> map data, photographic imagery, or the 3D model geometry and
> textures, other than through documented methods Microsoft provides
> to You; (ii) work around any technical limitations in the API;
> (iii) reverse engineer, decompile or disassemble the API, except
> and only to the extent that applicable law expressly permits,
> despite this limitation; or (iv) publish any part of the API for
> others to copy.
>
>
>
>
> Now, note that Microsoft published an official article about the
> tile structure (http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/
> bb259690.aspx), so I'd say that writing brand new code based on
> that documentation _is_ a way of accessing the service "through
> documented methods Microsoft provides to You".
>
>
> But there is this other condition:
>
> USE OF THE SERVICE. You may use the API to access and use the
> Service to display Results (as defined below in Section 4) within
> Your Application. As used herein, an "Application" is a computer
> program or website owned or controlled by You that uses the
> Service. You are not permitted to use the API or the Service on any
> intranet or non-public website, unless You have a MWS/VE Agreement
> that includes such rights.
>
>
> The Application that accesses the Service can't be in an intranet
> or non-public website. In your opinion (asking to english
> motherlanguage speakers), does a standalone application used at
> home fall in this category?
>
> --
> Fabrizio Giudici, Ph.D. - Java Architect, Project Manager
> Tidalwave s.a.s. - "We make Java work. Everywhere."
> weblogs.java.net/blog/fabriziogiudici - www.tidalwave.it/blog
> Fabrizio.Giudici@tidalwave.it - mobile: +39 348.150.6941
>
>
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
> To unsubscribe, e-mail: jdnc-unsubscribe@jdnc.dev.java.net
> For additional commands, e-mail: jdnc-help@jdnc.dev.java.net

- Blasting forth in three part harmony!

[att1.html]

Fabrizio Giudici

On May 25, 2007, at 4:55 , Joshua Marinacci wrote:

> Thanks for following up on this Fabrizio. It's good for us to know
> the status of the various mapping options out there. I think we
> should start looking for better access to NASA's tile data (I'm
> currently using 2km data but I think 8m is available somewhere).
> Perhaps I need to get a GPS and start mapping out Oregon. :)

The problem with NASA is that they don't do maps (with the exception
of the Topo stuff, but it's limited to the USA...). BTW, if you read
some blogs, it appear that if you are able to use the manufacturer's
APIs, everything is legal. For instance, there's people working at a
Google plug-in for World Wind, that would access tiles by creating a
JavaScript layer to run Google Maps APIs into. The problem is that it
looks like Google is already angry at this :-) and I think that
sooner or later they will change the terms to prevent this tricks
from being implemented...

PS Question: yesterday I was thinking this: NASA is more open since
it's a public entity. In Europe we should have a similar counterpart
which is ESA... who knows if they have some geodata to share? I'll
ask them too! :-)

--
Fabrizio Giudici, Ph.D. - Java Architect, Project Manager
Tidalwave s.a.s. - "We make Java work. Everywhere."
weblogs.java.net/blog/fabriziogiudici - www.tidalwave.it/blog
Fabrizio.Giudici@tidalwave.it - mobile: +39 348.150.6941

[att1.html]

Joshua Marinacci

On May 25, 2007, at 3:12 AM, Fabrizio Giudici wrote:

>
> On May 25, 2007, at 4:55 , Joshua Marinacci wrote:
>
>> Thanks for following up on this Fabrizio. It's good for us to know
>> the status of the various mapping options out there. I think we
>> should start looking for better access to NASA's tile data (I'm
>> currently using 2km data but I think 8m is available somewhere).
>> Perhaps I need to get a GPS and start mapping out Oregon. :)
>
> The problem with NASA is that they don't do maps (with the
> exception of the Topo stuff, but it's limited to the USA...). BTW,
> if you read some blogs, it appear that if you are able to use the
> manufacturer's APIs, everything is legal. For instance, there's
> people working at a Google plug-in for World Wind, that would
> access tiles by creating a JavaScript layer to run Google Maps APIs
> into. The problem is that it looks like Google is already angry at
> this :-) and I think that sooner or later they will change the
> terms to prevent this tricks from being implemented...

True. NASA does imagery. But it's been great to use as a tile provider.

I had pondered going down the JavaScript emulation route using Rhino
in Java 6, but figured that Google would eventually be upset about
it. Until they have an official stance on the use of their maps in a
rich client application then I'm going to stay away from it. For
example, we still don't know if embedding WebKit in my Cocoa app
would be a violation of their terms of service. The 'publicly
available' part is very vague.

>
> PS Question: yesterday I was thinking this: NASA is more open since
> it's a public entity. In Europe we should have a similar
> counterpart which is ESA... who knows if they have some geodata to
> share? I'll ask them too! :-)

That would be sweet!

- j

>
> --
> Fabrizio Giudici, Ph.D. - Java Architect, Project Manager
> Tidalwave s.a.s. - "We make Java work. Everywhere."
> weblogs.java.net/blog/fabriziogiudici - www.tidalwave.it/blog
> Fabrizio.Giudici@tidalwave.it - mobile: +39 348.150.6941
>
>

- Blasting forth in three part harmony!

[att1.html]