CWG meeting 2012-10-01

Communication Working Group meeting on Monday October 1st 2012


  • Apple maps blog post


  • Harry Wood
  • Henk Hoff
  • RichardF
  • JonathanB
  • RichardW

IRC log:

21:03 harry-wood: CWG?
21:04 toffehoff: Hi!
21:04 RichardF: good evening!
21:04 harry-wood: Hello
21:05 harry-wood: Shall we write a blog post about apple maps?
21:05 toffehoff: I think we should, yes.
21:05 harry-wood: edit link redacted
21:06 harry-wood: I started writing something
21:06 harry-wood: What can we say about apple using our maps? do we know much about how much they are using our maps?
21:07 toffehoff: It's unclear how much they use, but it's small ....
21:07 JonathanB: It seems to be very little in iOS 6 maps
21:07 toffehoff: ... at least that's what I've understood from my contact with Apple.
21:07 RichardF: yes, I'm a little anxious about saying stuff until we actually know anything
21:07 toffehoff: Mostly on places where they could not find other sources.
21:07 RichardF: does anyone have an iOS device they can use to actually find this stuff out?
21:08 harry-wood: nope
21:08 harry-wood: someone gave an example of a lake in Canada
21:08 toffehoff: You can say that everywhere where tomtom maps are used, no OSM data is being used.
21:09 RichardF: harry-wood: which probably came from canvec
21:09 harry-wood: ah right heh
21:09 RichardF: so we end up saying "OpenStreetMap thinks its maps are being used in Apple Maps but isn't quite sure". which makes us look a bit amateurish, frankly.
21:09 RichardF: I'm not against putting out a blog posting, but we need to get our facts straight first
21:09 toffehoff: No, we know they've use some OSM data.
21:09 JonathanB: or even "OSM maps aren't being used much at all"
21:10 RichardF: toffehoff: where, out of interest?
21:10 harry-wood: Well I thought there were concrete examples I just don't know what they are myself
21:10 RichardF: I mean, I spotted the Islamabad thing on Twitter, but I'm not even 100% sure about that - some of the geometry is off
21:10 harry-wood: thats image of the tweek too
21:10 RichardF: and we should really have some appreciation of the scale before we start making a fuss about it
21:11 toffehoff: They did not give me a specific example. However ....
21:11 toffehoff: The islamabad thing is very likely from OSM (since it's from an "odd" place; for which they have used OSM)
21:11 RichardF: I can ask on the lists if that helps, of course. Someone out there must have an iOS device running Apple Maps...
21:11 harry-wood: (Islamabad: )
21:11 toffehoff: ... and the data they used is old.
21:12 toffehoff: Somewhere from April
21:12 toffehoff: It is CC-BY-SA data. Not ODbL
21:13 RichardF: given that iOS 6 came out one week after the switchover I think it'd be pretty amazing if it were ODbL ;)
21:13 harry-wood: which hardware is ugradable to IOS6? maybe I can upgrade the office ipad
21:13 RichardF: harry-wood: iPhone 3GS or later, iPad 2 or later
21:13 toffehoff: We could bring a blog post focussing on Apple needing to use more OSM.
21:13 RichardF: I have an iPad 1 so can't run it. Anna won't let the new Apple Maps on her 3GS until they've fixed it!
21:14 harry-wood: Wel yes the blog post needs to point how little of the much-maligned apple maps is powered by OpenStreetMap
21:14 harry-wood: but that we'd love them to use us more
21:14 toffehoff: ... and how much they could benefit from a crowd sourced initiative like OSM
21:15 JonathanB: For that we'd need examples of where Apple maps are poor and OSM is strong
21:15 harry-wood: well depends how long we'd want to dwell on that point
21:16 harry-wood: because there's other messages to put out. The importance of having a choice. The importance of freeing up data so that it's no longer a corporate weapon of war
21:16 toffehoff: Good point.
21:16 harry-wood: how to use OpenStreetMap instead of apple maps on an iphone
21:16 toffehoff: Maybe then promote the OSM powered apps
21:16 harry-wood: lots of positive messages
21:17 toffehoff: See for yourself how good OSM really is: use one of these apps...
21:18 toffehoff: compare openmaps, skobbler, whatever with a screenshot from iMaps.
21:19 toffehoff: Where I live is much better on OSM then on iMaps.
21:19 toffehoff: redacted location
21:19 toffehoff: ... wonder why :-) ....
21:19 RichardF: we should probably redact that from the minutes for the sake of Henk's privacy ;)
21:20 harry-wood: ok
21:20 RichardF: (on a slight point of detail, it's just 'Maps' not 'iMaps' - usual journalistic practice seems to be to call it 'Apple Maps')
21:20 toffehoff: yes sir.
21:20 RichardF: laughs
21:21 RichardF: ok. so - if we're having this blog post, what's the one overarching message that we want people to take from it?
21:21 toffehoff: Use an map-app that uses OSM
21:22 RichardF: cool, so a longform version of basically
21:22 RichardF: (which I think is our most retweeted tweet ever :) )
21:22 toffehoff: The basic message: yes.
21:22 harry-wood: oh really? it's funny I guess some people probably didn't know the big iOS list existed there
21:23 harry-wood: (not that it's a very good list, as I was saying before)
21:24 harry-wood: The main message I've been saying in comments is... It's good news that google has some competition, but OpenStreetMap is the free and open alternative... and it will win in the end :-)
21:25 harry-wood: usually my comment comes amid a blizzard of iPhone users whining about the maps
21:25 toffehoff: Maybe good to mention some of the most used iOS apps in the blog instead of only linking to the page.
21:26 harry-wood: which ones do we want to mention though?
21:26 toffehoff: "these are the most downloaded. For a more comprehensive list go here"
21:27 harry-wood: does apple make download stats available anywhere? don't think it does
21:27 RichardF: you could do "highest-rated".
21:27 harry-wood: yeah there's just the appstore rating to go on.
21:27 toffehoff: If I open the appstore on my iPhone, I get the Skobbler GPS Navigation2 as one of the preferred apps.
21:27 harry-wood: andy was suggesting copying appstore ratings onto the wiki. Bit of faff to maintain though
21:27 RichardF: toffehoff: yeah, Apple have nominated a few apps as "possible replacements for our less-than-optimal map app"
21:27 toffehoff: I think the stats are also country specific .....
21:28 RichardF: harry-wood: you can get the ratings from the App Store API
21:28 RichardF: don't know who runs the bot that makes the wiki listing though
21:28 harry-wood: Tordanik does
21:28 RichardF: ah, ok. you could ask him to look at integrating the App Store ratings, perhaps.
21:28 harry-wood: hmm didn't realise there was such an API. interesting
21:29 harry-wood: that might take a few weeks though
21:30 harry-wood: and I wonder if the result would give us the best apps anyway
21:30 JonathanB: coughs
21:30 JonathanB: Does this relate to the blog post that we were discussing?
21:30 harry-wood: yeah... but we're deviating off topic a bit
21:31 harry-wood: for the purposes of a blog post I imagine there might be an easier way to choose which apps to mentio... but I can't immediately think what the easier way is
21:32 JonathanB: If we can't recommend any with certainty, we shouldn't be recommending any
21:33 toffehoff: If that's the case, let's not have a blog post.
21:33 harry-wood: not a problem of recommending with certainty... it's recommending fairly
21:34 JonathanB: Is that a particularly different problem?
21:34 harry-wood: I dont think it's essential to make a recommendation in the blog post, so if we don't have a fair way to pick some apps to recommend, then let's just link to the iOS list
21:34 toffehoff: "Apple recommended some alternatives, of which some are also OSM powered. Have a look here [link]"
21:34 toffehoff: "But there are many more OSM powered apps ...."
21:35 toffehoff: "Such as OpenMaps, Navfree, City Maps, ...."
21:35 toffehoff: "For a full comprehensive list have a look here [link to wiki]"
21:35 harry-wood: in the long run I'd be good to run a "app of the year" contest or something, as we discussed previously
21:36 toffehoff: ... also looking for a cyclemap app
21:36 RichardF: BikeHub and CycleStreets, but they're both UK-specific
21:36 toffehoff: Or: Ask other to mention their favorite OSM powered app!
21:37 toffehoff: "There are so many OSM powered apps, tell us your favorite and how it helped you ...... "
21:37 harry-wood: I just pasted that into the hackpad :-)
21:38 toffehoff: Giving people the opportunity to mention their choice in the comments.
21:38 toffehoff: :-)
21:40 harry-wood: I'm just writing the main messages we want to cover
21:42 rweait: Pretty important to mention "apps" for other devices too. We shouldn't be favoring one device over another. Make it easy for Android users to "get some OSM love" too.
21:42 JonathanB: WinMo, Symbian...
21:42 rweait: sure.
21:42 JonathanB: How to get OSM maps on your Garmin
21:42 harry-wood: sure. I tend to think it goes without saying that we've got a similar list of Android apps, but someone did reply with that question on twitter
21:43 JonathanB: @MordodeMaru in fact
21:43 rweait: Who cares? We're not competing with any of them. And we're not the marketing department (or map repair department) for one device or another.
21:43 toffehoff: Good thing, but maybe for another blog item?
21:43 toffehoff: This is about an alternative to Apple Maps.
21:44 rweait: This is about more mappers.
21:44 rweait: nothing wrong with a note at the end,
21:45 JonathanB: I'd support saying something about not having an iPhone in the post.
21:45 rweait: "Users of most any device can get access to OpenStreetMap data, see the list of software for other devices on the wiki, [link]"
21:45 harry-wood: was just writing something very much like that on the hackpad
21:45 rweait: JonathanB: I hope that you would support recommending tht people buy some device other than Apple, but I don't think that is what you are getting at. :-)
21:45 RichardF: (except in English)
21:47 toffehoff: I would make "If you're an android user" to "If you're not an iPhone user"
21:47 RichardF: absolutely. no reason to favour one platform controlled by an evil company over another.
21:47 toffehoff: :-)
21:48 RichardF: what would be _genuinely_ cool would be to mention OSM editing tools, too.
21:48 toffehoff: Back to the beginning: what is our message ....
21:49 harry-wood: The main gap in my knowledge about how to write this blog post is definitely the matter of how much apple is using OSM
21:49 toffehoff: to little.
21:49 RichardF: should we ask the lists, then?
21:49 harry-wood: maybe the osmf-talk list where the matter was being discussed early
21:49 toffehoff: You won't get a satisfying answer.
21:49 harry-wood: earlier
21:50 toffehoff: b/c nobody really knows. My contact with Apple was also very vague about it.
21:50 toffehoff: What I understood: they've used OSM as a last resort. When they could not find other sources.
21:51 RichardF: toffehoff: sure, but one would hope we can crowdsource it - get people to report where they've seen OSMish data. my concern would be that most mailing list members are emacs-using Stallmanoid communists
21:51 RichardF: </stevec>
21:51 rweait: stick to the facts. "Apple credit us in their $blah blah page"
21:52 rweait: So they may be using OSM data in some places but haven't told us where, or when they took a snapshot of our data".
21:52 rweait: Come to OSM to see updated data in your area.
21:52 toffehoff: Right, but you get OSMish reports. No real solid information.
21:53 rweait: "and so if you don't like the maps you see, try an app that uses only OSM data."
21:53 rweait: "Then improve the data in your area."
21:53 toffehoff: yes, that last thing is our message.
21:53 harry-wood: we can give the islamabad example again
21:54 harry-wood: in the blog post. Or did you say you're not so sure about it RichardF?
21:54 rweait: Why bother? Can we prove it's OSM in Islamabad?
21:54 toffehoff: It's the closed we can get to proving it.
21:54 harry-wood: someone was already sure enough to set it as image of the week for a week
21:54 RichardF: harry-wood: I'm 90% sure. (But 10% unsure.)
21:54 toffehoff:
21:55 RichardF: yep. it looks too similar not to be. but you'll notice things like the P-shaped road (north of 'Street 4', top right) isn't wonky in OSM.
21:56 rweait: Was it wonky when they took the snapshot?
21:56 rweait: We can't know.
21:56 RichardF: I don't think so, no. We looked through the history and couldn't find evidence of that.
21:57 RichardF: but who knows.
21:57 harry-wood: mapped by amoeen back in 2008 That's quite impressive
21:57 harry-wood: doesn't look like an import
21:57 rweait: We can't worry about making them look good; only about making OSM look good. If they've told us (even through secret trusted back channels) NOTHING. then we have nothing to work with.
21:58 rweait: So we can stick to the facts (they credited OSM) and suggest options like OSM apps and mapping your neighbourhood.
21:58 rweait: end of story.
21:58 toffehoff: This is one of those examples that fits the description I've been given in which they have used OSM.
21:59 harry-wood: ok. so we're agreed we can't be sure enough to give any examples
21:59 toffehoff: If you cannot be sure about islamabad, then you cannot be sure about any example.
21:59 harry-wood: indeed
22:00 rweait: toffeehoff, did they give you anything to work with? It sounds like they are abusing you badly. :(
22:00 toffehoff: Maybe good to mention that OSM is only used in exotic places like Islamabad.
22:00 rweait: toffehoff: we don't know that.
22:00 toffehoff: Let them prove different!
22:00 rweait: Did they tell you that they changed their use since the last thing that they didn't credit properly?
22:01 toffehoff: iPhoto was a complete different thing.
22:01 rweait: So this is a different pull from OSM?
22:01 RichardF: we think so, yes
22:01 toffehoff: This is a pull from somewhere April.
22:02 toffehoff: They haven't used newer stuff.
22:02 harry-wood: OK we've been on this for an hour. Any other topics?
22:02 toffehoff: Tomtom is their major supplier.
22:03 harry-wood: We can work on the hackpad: edit link redacted and discuss further by email
22:03 toffehoff: tomtom does not want to have any OSM data in area's where they've provided data.
22:03 rweait: Can you provide an attributed quote for that ?
22:04 toffehoff: No.
22:04 rweait: They're abusing you, my friend. :(
22:04 toffehoff: That's how you see it.
22:04 rweait: they've given us no way to look out for them.
22:05 toffehoff: Oh, they had no intentions to work with OSM in the near future.
22:05 rweait: OSm or OSMF?
22:05 toffehoff: OSM data.
22:06 rweait: so they'll be dumping it soon?
22:06 toffehoff: They're probably not going to update it.
22:06 rweait: does hackpad really need a signin via facebook or something?
22:07 JonathanB: Yeah, I'm not lovin' that
22:09 toffehoff: me too.
22:10 toffehoff: Need to do some other stuff before going to bed as well.
22:11 rweait: I'll email a version for you all to consider or ignore.
22:11 rweait: :-)
22:11 RichardF: oh lawdy
22:11 RichardF: "Communications Working Group member Richard Weait commented: 'You should all dump your nasty proprietary phones and stop paying the Apple Tax.'"
22:11 RichardF: am I roughly right? :)
22:12 rweait: Hardly worht writing if you jump to the punchline.... :-)
22:12 RichardF: laughs
22:12 harry-wood: rweait: The hackpad now has a fair amount of drafted blog post on it
22:12 harry-wood: are you saying you can't see it?
22:12 rweait: I can see it, Iwon't log in to edit it.
22:12 harry-wood: ah right
22:13 harry-wood: and google maps doesn't work for you?
22:13 harry-wood: hmm
22:13 JonathanB: rweait: You can just set up a hackpad account
22:14 : rweait left the room.
22:15 harry-wood: oh he's gone
22:15 harry-wood: So lets assume the hackpad has the "latest" version
22:16 harry-wood: but maybe we can paste in something from rweait
22:16 harry-wood: Any other topics for this evening?
22:16 harry-wood: I have to head off
22:17 toffehoff: me too.
22:17 toffehoff: Bye
22:17 : toffehoff left the room (quit: Remote host closed the connection).
22:18 JonathanB: Next week I'd like to discuss social network links/badges/branding on -- I'll prepare something in advance hopefully
22:19 harry-wood: JonathanB sounds good
22:21 harry-wood: ok. Goodbye all
22:29 harry-wood: Wow. osmf-talk mailing list ranting and raving in full swing on the topic of blogging about apple
22:30 harry-wood: It's going to take me longer to read all of that than it would to just finish writing the smegging blog post and post it
22:38 RichardF: I wouldn't bother :)
22:38 RichardF: CWG doesn't answer to osmf-talk, and nor should it.