Google Map Maker for India –Good Thing? Bad Thing?

With Google’s opening its Map Maker service for India,is this a good thing or bad thing? The Economic Times provides some details but also offers caution as any uploaded content becomes the property of Google and competes with services like OpenStreetMap which offers to share data through a Creative Commons license. The article raises the valid issue of that in countries that have an historically poor way of updating and distributing (even discouraging) digital map content whether this is the way to go. You can argue about whether Google is fostering economic development or just hoarding data for itself. After my visit to the country last year,I feel that the government is loosening its hold on some data sources. But whether data becomes the property of Google or not,some of it will be shared for public consumption regardless of the policy of the Indian government. Google has already run afoul of the Indian government regarding satellite imagery once before but it’s getting harder to corale the masses who see the enormous value in better map data.

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