Picked this story from the OpenStreetMap IRC room – it’s is this very well written blog post by Rich about his thorny experiences in Uganda collecting data for OpenStreetMap.
At the time I thought it was ludicrous that they would suspect a white umuzungu as a terrorist, especially one with such as bad cover story that it took hours to explain what openstreetmaps was, that it was a volunteer activity, and that my reasons for doing this was primarily altruistic and maybe I can make money off selling it later
In keeping with some earlier posts:
Indian Nokia map collectors imprisioned
Mapping as a Terrorist Activity
Get ready to be followed and spied upon for creating a free map.
Superintendent Brett Lovegrove Head of Counter Terrorism for the City of London Police at the “Project Griffin Conference” in Edinburgh, talked about “hostile reconnaissance” to help spot potential targets:
“This means noticing people who suddenly start appearing at a café and perhaps draw maps of the surrounding area.
Understandably, this is bad news, as we love going to cafes and making maps! Here’s a photo of us at a Starbucks during Leeds OpenStreetMap mapping weekend:
image copyright kevin whitworth
Kyle Gordon from Openstreetmap has penned an open email in response to Lovegrove’s advice.
We are in danger of being arrested and unfairly held for a 4 weeks (possibly 6 or 7…) under anti-terrorism laws, just by doing our hobby