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Reporters' Roundtable: Maps and mapping (podcast)

This week: Mapping! We'll discuss how maps are made, who owns the aerial image of your back yard, and how to crowdsource mapmaking.

Who doesn't love a good map? But maps aren't what they used to be. Today's "maps" do more than show us what's where: They tell us where we are and how to get where we want to go. Mapping is also now a privacy and security issue. Criminals are using public satellite imagery and street-view photos of structures to plot property crimes. We'll talk about these issues, plus how maps are made, and the as-yet unsolved challenges for map developers, in this week's show. Our guests are Peter Birch, product manager of Google Earth, and Nick Black, cofounder of Cloudmade, a company doing business around the OpenStreetMap project.

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Show notes and talking points

How are maps made... Google first, then Cloudmade

How often are maps updated?

How are errors found?

How map route-finding works. How is route-finding improved over time?

Discussion of crowdsourced traffic data

Google: Discuss routing issues for car, transit, bike, walking

Discussion of privacy:
  • Street View
  • Aerial/satellite view
  • Faces/cars
  • European rules on data retention

Rights to use mapping data/services: Google model compared to OSM model

Social networking: discuss location privacy

Google Maps and Earth to merge?

What about indoor mapping?

Mapping challenges still to solve

Future of mapping: What's next?