[Geowanking] google maps, etc + data quality vs commoditization?

SteveC steve at asklater.com
Sun Feb 7 09:43:01 PST 2010


I think you have to let go of the notion of QC as it stands, basically.

First, let's not pretend that traditional data suppliers are particularly good quality anyway, and in fact introduce bugs on purpose in their maps to trap copyright infringers. So we can aim higher than that.

Second, *you* are the QC. I'm on a plane and can't look at your link, but you can fix it. You can directly fix it in OSM, and you can email Google and cross your fingers with more confidence than mailing TA/NT and just sort of hoping they might fix it.

Last, I'd say "look at wikipedia, it's fine" and worry about something more important. It's like worrying about ontologies or standards... it's just a time sink.

Yours &c.

Steve


On Feb 2, 2010, at 8:29 AM, Brian Russo wrote:

> Sorta, yeah.
> 
> I'm mostly curious if anyone else thinks data quality in "Web 2.0" foundational datasets like Google Maps matters. So I suppose yes, some sort of town hall debate over it. I haven't really seen much discussion on it.
> 
> As I said, everyone has QC issues - not just Google. It just happens to be that Google has decided to go out and build their own dataset - unlike Bing, Yahoo, etc. I agree Google has done much to improve openness of data, however they also chose to make their new dataset closed. This doesn't shock me, but giving out free read access doesn't make it open data - it just means that selling data isn't important to their business model.
> 
> Also, having seen how many "non-geo" people utilize maps, I find that many of them doubt themselves rather than the map - they assume they're lost, are misreading it, or the GPS has put them in the wrong spot, etc. I seldom see people decide the map is wrong - but this is just my personal, anecdotal experience.
> 
> Another aspect is the impact of fragmented basemaps - different users with different devices seeing a different view of the world. Overlays are the bread and butter of mapping, and the basemap is often ignored.
>  - bri
> 
> P.S. Mike Dobson's blog - http://blog.telemapics.com/
> 
> 
> 
> On Mon, Feb 1, 2010 at 10:00 PM, Ian White <ian at urbanmapping.com> wrote:
> not sure what you are going for--a sort of town hall debate over the merits of google's decision? it's easy to forget that parcel data was rarely even visible on a public website until several months ago. so i'll applaud google for getting title search/parcel aggregators scared to hell. no doubt their decision entire methodical and for sure had been several years in the works. i'm certain it's a matter of months (not years) before they drop major provider for business listing data and will go it their own with the small business center. it's pretty clear that consumers don't mind sacrificing quality for price. android turn by turn on VZN is case in point. price trumps quality when it comes to consumer markets. mike dobson has written some very insightful things on his blog about google's mapbase.
> 
> no question people are perplexed (vexed, even?) by the seemingly unnecessary open map smackdown b/w map maker and OSM. if the geo response to haiti is any indication, we can expect google to seed more coverage a la AND to leapfrog OSM.
> 
> but this is why everybody should come to where2 this march/april and attend the panel i am moderating "Base Map Smackdown" with head of TIGER, head of product for OS, our own SteveC and hopefully another participant (uh-hum, you know who you are, please respond to me offpost!)
> 
> i
> 
>> 
>> Ian White :: Urban Mapping Inc
>> 690 Fifth Street Suite 200 :: San Francisco CA 94107
>> T.415.946.8170 :: F.866.385.8266 :: urbanmapping.com/blog
> 
> On Feb 1, 2010, at 11:12 PM, Brian Russo wrote:
> 
>> So as many of you know Google dumped TeleAtlas last October in favour of home-grown data. Personally I found this choice over leveraging OpenStreetMap a poor one, but that's another topic.
>> 
>> Point is that since October, Google Maps' data quality has been very spotty. From acceptable results to the truly mythic; there's just no way to know anymore what to expect. This isn't just some academic exercise anymore as Android hits more mobile phones and more "ordinary" people take for granted routing & geocoding. Personally I've witnessed this firsthand on numerous occasions. Friends that nearly missed flights due to bad directions. Wasting half an hour lost because Google Maps (and Bing and OSM and Yahoo) had no knowledge of an entire subdivision that's several years old [1]. I'm sure everyone has anecdotes.
>> 
>> Really I'm not trying to focus on Google Maps - other providers have this issue, and the problem exists elsewhere (and certainly is nothing new to geo data). However the widespread commoditization/adoption of GIS technology and map data is a done deal and is amplifying this more than ever before with no "man in the loop" to QC. I think unless consumers start paying attention then this will develop into a real mess.
>> 
>> What do you think? Lost cause? Will be overcome by events?
>> 
>>  - bri
>> 
>> 1. http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Honolulu,+Hawaii+96822&ll=21.486995,-158.061655&spn=0.007358,0.016512&t=h&z=17
>> <ATT00001..txt>
> 
> 
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