[aprssig] Don't take things for granted !!

Scott Miller scott at opentrac.org
Fri May 23 16:37:51 CDT 2008

I spoke to Russell Shoji at Google back in 2005, before the Google Maps 
API came online, about how Google Maps might serve the APRS community 
(and how they might get to test out their Ride Finder technology with a 
much larger data set in the process.)  They were interested, but the 
eventual conclusion was basically "we've announce the Maps API, so the 
APRS community is free to go and do it themselves."

Now, I'm sure that what Mr. Shoji said wouldn't be construed as a 
license, and it's quite possible he wouldn't have the authority to grant 
permission anyway, and the advertised terms of service might have been 
different back then, but I think it's a safe bet that A) Google knows 
about APRS (they were aware of it before I contacted them), and B) it 
doesn't seem to be in conflict with what they're trying to accomplish 
with the terms of service, specifically preventing free use of Google 
Maps for commercial AVL and vehicle navigation systems.

If anyone's that concerned about it, I'll be happy to take the lead on 
getting explicit approval from Google for APRS use of Google Maps. 
Based on my previous contacts with them, I can't imagine it being a big 
deal.  And I know for a fact there are APRS users within their ranks - I 
recognized the address of their main campus on a repaired OT1+ I sent 
out just a week or two ago.

APRS is exactly the kind of public good that Google likes to be seen 
contributing to.  I don't think there's any real chance that they'd pull 
a Vicinity.com and just yank access.


Phillip wrote:
> Hi all,
>           This was on the Ui-View List and I thought that this may be of
> interest to ALL
> Re: ui-view tracking ships cargo an anykind. 
> Posted by: "Gerhard" f5vag.eu at gmail.com   f5vag 
> Fri May 23, 2008 2:39 am (PDT) 
> On Fri, May 23, 2008 at 9:48 AM, Wes Johnston, AI4PX <wes at ai4px.com> wrote:
>> aprs.fi will display marine AIS data. You can get an AIS radio/modem for
>> $250 range. Not sure how it's fed to aprs.fi, but once there can be
>> displayed.7
> You guys want to make sure that the data are not fed back to the APRS-IS.
> Tracking a vehicle on the free Google map is clearly infringing the T&C.
> In "normal" APRS you are tracking a Radio Amateur, wherever he is. Here
> it is the vehicle you track. Google has pulled the plug on a good number of
> sites infringing their T&Cs.
> http://www.google.com/intl/en_ALL/help/terms_maps.html
> <quote>
> Except where you have been specifically licensed to do so by Google,
> you may not use Google Maps with any products, systems, or
> applications installed or otherwise connected to or in communication
> with vehicles, capable of vehicle navigation, positioning, dispatch,
> real time route guidance, fleet management or similar applications.
> </quot>
> I'm not going to pay the license fee for all the users of my GMaps for the
> UI-WebServer. Entrance fee is USD10000 or EURO 10000 per year.
> --
> 73 de Gerhard, F5VAG / DL7MW
> http://f5vag.eu, france.aprs2.net
> 73 Phillip
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