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Copyright Easter Eggs – OpenStreetMap Wiki

Copyright Easter Eggs – OpenStreetMap Wiki

2024-02-13 12:50:01

A Copyright Easter Egg, when it comes to mapping, is a characteristic that’s drawn in a particular manner with a purpose to assist determine its authentic creator. It could be a nonexistent, or barely or closely distorted, map characteristic, or its identify could also be wrongly or unusually spelt.

The supposed most important objective of such a characteristic is to strengthen the creator’s case in a copyright dispute. If he can present that his personal distinctive characteristic seems within the defendant’s work, it’s simpler to show that the defendant’s work is a replica of his.

Do not confuse with Errata

There is a high quality line between easter eggs and errata. For instance Google Maps/Tele Atlas has Patrick’s Hill in Cork the place Camden Quay ought to be. That is most likely simply Google making a mistake. They’ve been identified to get London tube stations on the wrong side of the river. Clearly they do not show main errors like this intentionally (it makes their map unusable within the space!). We’ve got a Catalog of Errors itemizing extra examples.

After all errors can also function a copyright lure in a authorized dispute over copyright, however “copyright easter egg” refers to false options or inaccuracies intentionally launched for the aim of laying a copyright lure.

Errors might be launched for all types of causes, and should look quite a bit like copyright easter eggs. A very good instance of how this could occur, is “paper avenue” errors. A freeway developer submits a plan to the federal government, however by no means really builds all of the streets. Many native maps will embody these, since mapmakers typically produce maps by referring to the plans. TIGER is stuffed with these. Once more this isn’t a deliberate copyright easter egg by the map makers, although it could look quite a bit like one.

OSM’s view of the Subject

Pretend avenue options are pretty exhausting to search out, and we actually don’t know what number of there are. Pretend streets, objective mis-spellings and phantom church buildings are all thought to exist. Unintentional errors and minor inaccuracies might additionally function copyright traps. OpenStreetMap asks you to not reference maps when getting into information. That is partly to keep away from such copyright traps, but additionally as a result of we genuinely do not wish to copy data from these sources. Organisations just like the UK’s Ordnance Survey have positioned their maps underneath copyright. A marketing campaign exists to alter this (‘Free Our Data’) however right here at OpenStreetMap we’re working round the issue by constructing an open-licensed free and correct geodata from scratch. The venture just isn’t an train in copying maps whereas attempting to keep away from copyright traps. We create maps with out copying in any respect! That’s the problem we have now set for ourselves.

Does OSM have copyright easter eggs? Though some OSMers have intentionally added errors to the OSM information as nicely (see posting on legal-talk by User:80n), that is strictly discouraged and opposite to OSM coverage. It is also very pointless. Even when we search to characterize actuality completely, that can by no means be the fact of map information. With OpenStreetMap there is a very distinctive and distinct fingerprint evident within the information protection and particulars included, and sure, within the errors made. For instance in 2012 the OpenStreetMap basis might issue a statement with absolute confidence that Apple had used our maps (with out crediting us) based mostly on very evident copying, and with out the necessity for launched errors.

Printed Maps that “Lye”

A–Z Map of Bristol

Lye close.jpg

To the proper is a tiny scan from an A–Z map of central Bristol. Provided that you go and wander round Canynge Sq. in Bristol you see some good homes (within the picture beneath the map) the place that Shut ought to be.


Lye Shut is not within the index both. Bizarre, huh? Effectively, not likely. It’s an Easter egg, a shock avenue (typically often called a “trap street“) inserted in order that in the event you try to repeat the map then the copyright holder can show you copied it. In any other case, why would you’ve the nonsense avenue in your map in the event you didn’t get it from them?

Examples from Google Maps

(These are examples from Google Maps gathered again when google used Tele Atlas for European information protection)

  • Moat Lane, Finchley, London N3. Tele Atlas (as utilized by Google Maps) has this street, which does not exist. Not based on the Royal Mail, not based on Bartholomew, not based on private expertise.
  • Kerbela Street, Shrewsbury, England. Simply off Meadow Farm Drive in Shrewsbury Google Maps exhibits a Kerbela Avenue, which doesn’t bodily exist at this location and even exist in any respect in Shrewsbury, based on Royal Mail.
  • Torrington Place, Finchley, London N3, allegedly on the finish of Arcadia Avenue N3. Tele Atlas has this street, which does not exist in actuality. Not based on Royal Mail, not based on Bartholomew, not based on private expertise.
  • The Avenue, Finchley, London N3. Tele Atlas has this brief avenue at totally the unsuitable angle, taking it straight by a block of flats, about 60 metres from its actual location.
  • Warwick Road and Tudor Close – Sutton Coldfield exhibits up a superb instance of a Tele Atlas Easter egg. Or might it’s that they deliberate to construct the extension to Warwick Street and the Tudor Shut spur however by no means did, during which case the element for the map might have come from the strategy planning stage. I am not so positive although because the extension to Warwick runs by the again gardens of current properties. Anyway, these roads do not exist in actual life. Here is what the housing property appears like on OSM as created from my GPX observe.Blackadder 12:17, 3 Feb 2006 (GMT)
  • Clapham Junction to Clapham Common a Tele Atlas Easter Egg confirmed a street operating diagonal from the principle intersection of Clapham Junction to Clapham Frequent, by a number of streets, rows of homes, and a division retailer. This easter egg was faraway from Google maps in some unspecified time in the future in direction of the top of 2006. The roads are actually mapped on OSM.
  • Basildon Tele Atlas once more: A few residential roads the place the informal / unobservant customer could be fooled into considering they have been in woodland with footpaths….–DrMark 13:18, 12 July 2008 (UTC)
  • There are (a minimum of) two errors/easter eggs within the map of Hilden (Germany):
    1. Grünewaldstraße – There seems a sidestreet “Grünewaldstraße” south to the road named “Grünewald”. Because the housenumbers recommend, this “Grünewaldstraße” is the truth is named “Grünewald”, too. As well as, the German postal code lookup server doesn’t recognise a “Grünewaldstraße” in Hilden.
    2. Schwannenplatz – The road “Schwanenplatz” is (intentionally?) wrongly named “Schwannenplatz”. The humorous level with that is, that Google itself suggests the proper identify 🙂
  • St. Helens, UK exhibits “Hobbs Place” famous on the map, however on the satellite tv for pc imagery you possibly can see the street would not really exist.
  • U.S. Highway 9 is routed alongside New Jersey Route 52, ninth Avenue, and County Routes 619 and 623 round Nice Egg Harbor Bay. Whereas this can be resulting from the truth that the Beesley’s Level Bridge (the span to the left of the Backyard State Parkway) is closed indefinitely, the very fact is that US 9 has not been formally rerouted off of the closed bridge. Google has since moved the US 9 markings to the Backyard State Parkway, which is an alternative choice to the closed Beesley’s Level Bridge however just isn’t the official route. CrystalWalrein 14:31, 7 July 2010 (UTC)
  • Rogaland, Norway: Wrongly named way On this map the a part of Dublandsvegen which is secondary street is actually referred to as Opstadvegen. Additionally, many locations Tele Atlas miss intersections or they’ve added the place it should not be. (Good motivation to make a greater map right here on OSM!)
  • Bonn, Germany: Non-existing pathway. The “Galgenpfad” (german for “gallows-pathway”, possibly some Tele Atlas joke?) doesn’t exist (see blog post).
  • In Langenstein, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany, there’s a complete block of streets in a forest/on a mountain. fastened, apparently an error

Ordnance Survey vs Vehicle Affiliation

Ordnance Survey Maps sued the Vehicle Affiliation for copying their maps and diffusing the outcomes to people in addition to to 3rd celebration mappers. Some 26 maps from AA have been confirmed in courtroom to be kind of direct copies of OS maps, or to include information from OS maps. The AA was fined nearly million kilos for infringement of copyright. Subsequently, the AA agreed to an out-of-court settlement of £20 million as compensation for different situations of copyright infringement. In comparison with this sum, the AA has an annual money circulate of about £30 million.

Street indicators that lie

There are additionally circumstances the place the road indicators are incorrect, however the maps are appropriate. For example, the B550from Highgate in London to Whetstone (based on official sources on the Division for Transport, and based on OS, Bartholomew, Tele Atlas and Mapquest Maps). There are street indicators on the Colney Hatch intersection on the A406 North Round Street that exhibits it because the B550 in a single route and B505 in one other.


A stretch of street in northern New Jersey is thought and mapped as New Jersey Route 24 alongside County Routes 517, 513, and 510, though a freeway was constructed with that designation between I-78 and I-287, and in 1993 the previous Route 24 ceased to exist, though resident resistance has stored the previous Route 24 indicators standing since they know the street as such.

Extra anachronisms are present in Port Norris, New Jersey, the place Strawberry Avenue is marked as County Route 680, Excessive Avenue is CR 631 and Ogden Avenue is CR 632. These designations have been eliminated within the late Eighties when the oyster trade collapsed, however the indicators stay and the roads are mapped as such. An error between the TIGER imports, Tele Atlas and Navteq is the designation of County Routes 649 and 633 as County Routes 15 and 33 (and CR 728 as 33B); these have been designations set forth by Cumberland County till standardisation underneath the present county route system. CrystalWalrein 02:46, 20 October 2008 (UTC)

See Also

Different varieties of watermarking

Past introducing blatantly false data, different methods are employed by cartographers to guard their work from copying.

Digital easter eggs

A category of Easter Eggs might be carried out by digital map suppliers who don’t want their uncooked map information (vectors) copied. The decrease bits of the geographic coordinates are mangled in some systematic manner in order that it will not be apparent to a person of the map, however could possibly be utilized in a Copyright trial to indicate that the info had been copied.

For example, if all of the coordinates had a the rest of three when divided by seven, or have been all displaced from their actual coordinates by some small however actual offset. So do not use digital map coordinates from proprietary sources even in the event you have been to check each intersection and form level on the map!

Cartographic model easter eggs

Vertices trick/mark. There was a trick for marking cartography utilizing Morse code, unfold throughout the vectors defining geometry of options. Some firms would place hidden phrases encoded alongside the sting of a characteristic represented by common size segments representing dots and dashes.

One other rumoured trick is use the seemingly random spacing of tree symbols in a forest space. Fairly than inserting them fully randomly, the spacing might be adjusted in some coded method.

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