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[aprssig] MapQuest Maps for Findu.com

Ray McKnight shortsheep at worldnet.att.net
Sun Apr 17 18:38:47 UTC 2005


Or, we scrap the whole idea of piggybacking on commercial
Map sites and do it ourselves.  The benefits:  we create exactly what best
suites our needs and never rely on the free gratitude of using a commercial
site and its shared bandwidth (what we've already learned, when they get
tired of us and others hogging their servers they simply boot us off).

The downside:  we would have to set up our own server(s) and host the site
ourselves.  Likely this would require at least as much room and horsepower
as FindU needs, and far more than the current APRSWorld map server.

What I'm talking about is converting the entire USGS SDTS database into
files and resolutions that we need.  It would also be possible to do the
same for the DEM datasets and overlay that or render them separately.  Jerry
and I had tossed this idea around a few months ago.  It would be a big
project probably requiring a few thousand man hours to complete the
conversions and create the files.  Then the whole issue of servers,
bandwidth and hosting would have to be resolved.

This would provide the highest quality maps at the resolutions we want, yes,
all the way down to street level.  For users with a fast Internet connection
I suppose you could take the idea one step further and allow client
applications (such as UI-View, WinAPRS and XASTIR) to interactively download
maps on the fly as the user desires, eliminating the whole PMap and
StreetAtlas issue, at least for those with the bandwidth and connectivity to
support it (obviously mobiles and users with dial up ISP won't be able to
take advantage of this, at least not "interactively").

This is not a weekend project.  Is there sufficient interest in pursuing it?

-----Original Message-----
From: aprssig-bounces at lists.tapr.org [mailto:aprssig-bounces at lists.tapr.org]
On Behalf Of Steve Dimse
Sent: Sunday, April 17, 2005 05:40
To: TAPR APRS Mailing List
Subject: Re: [aprssig] MapQuest Maps for Findu.com


On Apr 17, 2005, at 1:34 AM, ke4nyv at hamhud.net wrote:

> The way I read that, we should have 100% free access to these maps for
> street-level detail.

Read the terms of use. You can _link_ to them, not grab their maps and 
manipulate them. The result is the same as the MSN map and Google map 
links you will find on the left set of links on the find.cgi page. 
There are many mapping services that allow this, it simply draws you to 
their site and they make money from the ads.

What findU needs are sites that allow you to grab the map itself, 
manipulate it, and retransmit it, or as MapBlast did, allow deep 
linking to just the map, allowing them to be embedded in pages. The 
only commercial internet mapping site I know of without terms 
preventing this is Google. They use complex javascript  code to access 
their maps, but there are a couple groups making progress at hacking 
the access method. You can follow their progress at SourceForge. The 
trouble here is this is a beta from Google, those sometimes last 
indefinitely, but more often they are turned into a commercial product, 
at that time it is likely they would post the same restrictive terms of 
service everyone else uses.

Steve K4HG


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