Vector mapping comes to the masses, but is it free?

In the space of a couple of days, OpenLayers, Microsoft’s Live Search and Google Maps have enabled vector drawing (that’s points, lines, and polygons).

Live Search (aka Live Maps, aka Live Local) have enabled publication of Collections of map data as GeoRSS, Google Maps as KML, or shared via a permalink. OpenLayers can serialise and deserialise gml, kml and georss, WKT and more…

Interesting times, we should be seeing more sharing and publication of these datasets, showing much more than a simple list of points can do. They approach GIS.

But, are they (excl. openlayers) free, is it derived data?
You use their mapping product, and make a derived work from it.

Who owns the copyright?

What are the terms?

Maybe the old “is drawing on a map derived data” question is about to be answered? Perhaps it can open the floodgates to better datasharing, more free geodata and better mashups and spatial applications….

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