[Geowanking] update - open letter to google
schuyler at nocat.net
Wed Aug 10 16:22:00 PDT 2005
* On 10-Aug-2005 at 4:05PM PDT, Jody Garnett said:
> >After you have put the story on your blog, could you please tell
> >http://slashdot.org . This is just the sort of story that slashdot
> >will publish and it has a huge following in the tech community.
> >I don't expect you will get a response from Google unless you publish
> >the letter to a large public forum (like slashdot).
> Ug, just the kind of bad press that google etc don't want. Try and talk
> to them first, I have it went reasonably well. Why start the
> conversation off on bad footing.
I definitely don't want to go on record as a nay-sayer, but I have a
feeling that we're wasting our time with this. Having visited Google
and met the people involved with their maps program, it doesn't seem
to me that they really have the budget or resources to offer the
things that the community would appreciate, as you point out. I can
attempt to make introductions myself, but I think that so broad a
platform of requests and desires would simply overwhelm them, and I'm
not sure that anything would come of it.
The problem, of course, is that Google is a for-profit business,
ostensibly one with shareholder accountability. Unless we can make a
case for how they can justify our requests to their shareholders, we
can't really expect them to bite. Even though what they've done for
mapping on the web is pretty incredible, Google is still hamstrung by
obligations to their data providers. (Insert something her about "...
once you have paid him the Dane-geld / You never get rid of the
I think we have to face the fact that the community must provide for
itself, and that no publically held company is going to go out on a
limb for us. To put it quite bluntly, Google doesn't owe us anything.
If we want Google's (or any other corporation's) help in building the
geospatial web that we all know is possible, then we're going to have
to come up with very tightly targeted proposals that will stand up to
the scrutiny of corporate due diligence.
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