A mail from OSM Board member Richard Fairhurst, to the OSM-Talk mailing list about Apple’s recent use of our data, with links added for posterity:
switch2osm.org fell over. Yep, so many people wanting to find out about switching to OpenStreetMap that WordPress crapped itself (ok, not the hardest target but hey ;) ).
More contributors. We’ve had people come into IRC saying “I want to fix this park name, how do I do it?”. Regular IRCers have been reporting a noticeably greater number of new editors in their areas. Or as someone just asked on IRC: “hmm did the apple fanbois drink the OSM koolaid and crash our servers with zealous mapping?”
I think we’ve had a higher peak of publicity today than we’ve ever had —higher than the Foursquare switch even, or the Google vandalism incident. We’ve been Slashdotted; we’re #6 on Hacker News. We’ve been on The Verge, Forbes, Wired, Ars, Gizmodo, and all the Mac sites—that’s taking OSM to people who’ve not heard of us before. We might not be the front page of the New York Times yet, but we’re getting there!
And one of the best things has been that people like how we’ve handled it. From Forbes: “OpenStreetMap itself has been much more polite about the whole thing. ‘It’s really positive for us,’ OSM founder Steve Coast told Talking Points Memo, ‘It’s great to see more people in the industry using OSM. We do have concerns that there wasn’t attribution.’.”
From a comment at Hacker News: “While I think it’s quite messed up that a company as rich as Apple can’t abide putting credits for people who have put some really good work in (I’ve even made small updates to OSM in my time) I do think that this is a very classy move by the OSM people, no ranting blog post or ‘Apple stole our stuff’, welcoming people presents a much better image of the project.”
Or The Verge: “Granted, OSM took this as an opportunity to get in the public eye by piggybacking on the iPad’s media fanfare; I applaud them for their maturity in their statement though. Many companies would’ve latched onto this and unleashed the lawyers threatening this and that, but they chose to be civil, point out the missing attributions, and say they are ‘we look forward to working with Apple to get that on there.’ A little civility goes a long way (in my book). I’m quite sick of the mudslinging in this space.”
Thanks to everyone who’s put the hours in today, to all the coders and sysadmins who sweat blood to not only keep OSM running but make it easier and faster... and to every single mapper making a map so amazing that everyone wants to use it.
Yes, I too appreciate the quiet and controlled way you responded to this. I do hope that Apple respond in the same way. And fast.
This makes me immensely happy for deciding a year and a half ago to contribute my time to my local area in OpenStreetmap. I really feel like my time hasn't been wasted, but gone to something worthwhile. That Apple is (unfortunately) using 2010 data--before I started working on my local area--really highlights how much the area has improved!
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