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Old 08-26-2009, 08:30 AM   #1
Matt Walston OP
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New web concept and an answer to the copyright map bitching.

Would everyone lay off this quasi-copyright/intellectual argument about the Trans-America Trail. Sam worked very hard to lay out the route and if you are going to ride an entire segment the cost of the maps is peanuts compared to your total trip cost and the time you take off of work.

I wanted to offer a constructive product idea and recommendation not a pissing contest of perceived intellectual property rights and morals, etc. This conversation comes up all the damn time and it is tiring. Whomever records the tracks and shares them is the owner of them. The underlying maps are not the basis for the derived work. Therefore, while it is tacky and destructive for the hobby as a whole, an individual sharing tracks is not breaking the law. Furthermore in my morality the bullying of this individual and the using of lies to convince this person that what they are doing is illegal is a bigger moral travesty then sharing tracks from "there trip".

The problem is, the opposition to GPS technology, availability of reversed roll charts, and the use fact that everyone seems to want to buy a section not sold as an individual item. Here is the gray area... If one were to ride the thing and simply share there GPS tracks, this information, while useful and time saving is not all Sam offers with the TAT and others offer. Lat-Lon coordinates are good for the machine but english is nice too. Is Sam's market really such bottom feeders that they would not see value in the roll-charts and the written instructions even if someone gave them a complete set of tracks?

Here is what I propose... I'm willing to work with any route planner who has a cool route to develop a web based system for generating tracks and pdf based roll charts to be trimmed down. I come from an IT background and have significant experience in spatial and mapping software as well as formal education in tons of GIS topics (not applicable here). The site would include trip log functions, photo albums, integration with spot for riders, and many other value adds. This site would be a sort of Map-Blog, where individuals can offer there own maps and routes to share and others can offer ride reports. Hopefully if I get such a project off the ground, the owners of these "copyrighted maps" might like to find a way to integrate into this system while increasing their revenue. Such a system isn't clear yet, but something worth exploring.

I would love to here what the community has to say about a sort of community-based map blogging site. Also, if you have a commercial interest in your route (and are already selling them) and have an idea about how to utilize a venue like this, I would love to here it.
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Old 08-26-2009, 01:02 PM   #2
mcnut
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How would this differ from GPXchange?

Maybe I'm missing your point, but....

While I fully agree with you that the right to use/distribute GPS data you have recorded is your own prerogative and legal I think there are other issues.

One you have already touch on is the intellectual rights problem. I have been shown "private" trails on condition that I not record and disclose the GPS data. It is not a matter of who owns the data but that I gave my word that I would not reveal the location via GPS data. A matter of principle, not legality.

Another problem and peeve of mine is the ease with which GPS data can be altered or fabricated. Once the data is several times removed from the original source how can I or the original supplier be confident the data hasn't been altered and is a true representation. Many times well intended ADVers have posted GPS data for which they have no personal knowledge of who or how it was generated. GPS data generated or modified at home on a computer often contains serious flaws which can make it impossible to navigate.

You mention PDF files. Isn't a significant element of that software the built-in security and password protection to preserve the integrity of the original (in addition to protecting copyrighted materials)?

I have struggled with the question of who owns GPS data myself when I bought the first edition of the Baja GPS Guidebook Vol 1, by Kacey Smith in 2000. It didn't come with a file, only paper waypoint lists! She would upload the data to your GPS if you sent the unit to her but would not email a file. It was her way of keeping some control over her work.

In the end I think it comes down to trust and personal ethics. For me the data recorded, while navigating data supplied by someone who has asked that it not be redistributed, is the same as making a copy and redistributing it.

Bruce

mcnut screwed with this post 08-28-2009 at 12:10 AM
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Old 08-26-2009, 05:23 PM   #3
intothenew
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I prefer to keep it in the hood. I charge one cold beer, in meatspace.
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Old 08-26-2009, 10:15 PM   #4
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This will not end well.

Ok you say you own the data your GPS recorded right?
Did you create the route that the GPS recorded? NO.
It would be not much different than taking a video recorder in the theater and recording the moving. Do you own the movie now that you seen? No.
its really no different.

From the TAT reports I've read the TAT maps from Sam are not exactly accurate today in Oregan and other places where there was gas at one time, there is not any longer. Well if Sam wants to keep the fruits of his labor WTF is he not updating it and fixing errors and Route changes to make it relevant for 2009.

I'm not trying to get other either side of the argument but its all been covered before. But there is honest questions there.
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Old 08-27-2009, 04:16 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by intothenew
I prefer to keep it in the hood. I charge one cold beer, in meatspace.
And you will be one drunk FF by the time you collect all the beer owed by your loyal cadre of TWVT'ers - myself included.

As it related to the original topic, so long as this discussion stays civil, it will live.

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Old 08-27-2009, 07:13 PM   #6
Matt Walston OP
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Obviously recreating a recording of a movie is simply copying the original work to a second medium. Sharing device recorded tracks are showing the trip and pace of an individuals trip. Now, if there is a license agreement where the purchaser of the roll charts was not allowed to record such tracks... now it is a contract matter. Tracks are different then routes. If I sent someone the tracks, is that the same as sending them the route? Were the tracks created as a copy of the route or a record of my ride? A lot boils down to the intention. If the tracks were meant to highlight a certain spot or to chronicle my trip then that is one thing. If the tracks were never road and just convert via software into a route then I would say it is simply a copy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zecatfish
This will not end well.

Ok you say you own the data your GPS recorded right?
Did you create the route that the GPS recorded? NO.
It would be not much different than taking a video recorder in the theater and recording the moving. Do you own the movie now that you seen? No.
its really no different.

From the TAT reports I've read the TAT maps from Sam are not exactly accurate today in Oregan and other places where there was gas at one time, there is not any longer. Well if Sam wants to keep the fruits of his labor WTF is he not updating it and fixing errors and Route changes to make it relevant for 2009.

I'm not trying to get other either side of the argument but its all been covered before. But there is honest questions there.
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Old 08-27-2009, 07:25 PM   #7
Matt Walston OP
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Agreed on first part. But that is a contract, albeit verbal, but still... You could have also said no thank you if it was a deal breaker.

The quality of the data is important and in any case should be viewer be ware. I always check my routes and use google earth as a sanity check. I'm proposing a map based riders blog where the rider still needs to verify and validate the route but have ideas and a few tracks from different trails as a place to start. If I didn't want to do any route planning, I would probably use an organized tour company or buy the very affordable TAT maps. I have had good and bad routes that people have sent me. The best routes are tracks of anything not a road in current maps broken at roads and a list of good roads. Show all the sections and connect what I want to do by waypoints. I will then turn the route into a routable path using some software. Works for me. The value is the friend telling me of some power-lines you can ride by or a lake to ride around.

The Kacey Smith example is pretty interesting... if you had the waypoints would the book have still been worth buying? The goal should be to offer more than a few coordinates laid out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnut
Maybe I'm missing your point, but....

While I fully agree with you that the right to use/distribute GPS data you have recorded is your own prerogative and legal I think there are other issues.

One you have already touch on is the intellectual rights problem. I have been shown "private" trails on condition that I not record and disclose the GPS data. It is not a matter of who owns the data but that I gave my word that I would not reveal the location via GPS data. A matter of principle, not legality.


Another problem and peeve of mine is the ease with which GPS data can be altered or fabricated. Once the data is several times removed from the original source how can I or the original supplier be confident the data hasn't been altered and is a true representation. Many times well intended ADVers have posted GPS data for which they have no personal knowledge of who or how it was generated. GPS data generated or modified at home on a computer often contains serious flaws which can make it impossible to navigate.

You mention PDF files. Isn't a significant element of that software the built-in security and password protection to preserve the integrity of the original (in addition to protecting copyrighted materials)?

I have struggled with the question of who owns GPS data myself when I bought the first edition of the Baja GPS Guidebook Vol 1, by Kacey Smith in 2000. It didn't come with a file, only paper waypoint lists! She would upload the data to your GPS if you sent the unit to her but would not email a file. It was her way of keeping some control over her work.

In the end I think it comes down to trust and personal ethics. For me the data recorded, while navigating data supplied by someone who has asked that it not be redistributed, is the same as making a copy and redistributing it.

Bruce
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Old 08-27-2009, 10:44 PM   #8
mcnut
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Walston
The Kacey Smith example is pretty interesting... if you had the waypoints would the book have still been worth buying? The goal should be to offer more than a few coordinates laid out.
Fortunately her guides are much, much more than a list of waypoints! But also remember that in 2000 GPS units with maps were rare indeed and there were no GPS maps of Baja at all. At that time only power users connected their units to computers and trade files. She still sells vol 1 and charges $175 for it to be uploaded directly to GPS or on disc (including Fugawi software). Would I have a problem with someone redistributing her work? Yes, but many have traveled her routes with out the aide of her guide recording their own data and have posted it here. Which I don't have a problem with.

Bruce
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