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Google Technology

OpenStreetMap Reports Data Vandalism From Google-Owned IPs 178

Posted by timothy
from the yes-but-where-are-the-perps dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Following reports of misconduct by Google employees in Kenya and India, It has been found that Google IP addresses have been responsible for deliberate vandalism of OpenStreetMap data. While it is unlikely that this was a deliberate or coordinated attack by Google HQ on the competition, multiple such reports does raise the question of whether or not Google has become too big to effectively enforce its 'Don't be evil' philosophy across its massive organization."
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OpenStreetMap Reports Data Vandalism From Google-Owned IPs

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  • I hope not (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 17, 2012 @09:53AM (#38724464)

    OpenStreetMap is a very good project, it is basically the Wikipedia of Maps. Wikipedia even links to OpenStreetMap when you look up co-oridnates for articles such as cities. It can also be more up-to date in areas that are having heavy construction. For example a major new bypass road was built in my city and it was added to OpenStreetMap the day it opened. Google maps still doesn't have it even a year later.

    Support OpenStreetmap, I hope they do a SOPA blackout to show how useful they are in places where Google Maps isn't as good.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 17, 2012 @09:54AM (#38724478)

    On the same blogpost,
    Tom Hughes said...
    As the person who (in my role as an OpenStreetMap system administrator) first discovered this `incident' let me start by saying that I consider this post to be grossly irresponsible and wholly inappropriate.
    The board of OSMF are making mountains out of tiny pimples here. It seems that they want this to be some sort of organised corporate malfeasance on the part of Google which is why they have tried to link it to the recent Mocality incident where there was indeed clear evidence of such behaviour.

    The reality in this case is that there is no evidence that this is any different to the numerous other incidents we get all the time where users either accidentally or deliberately make bogus edits. The only difference in this case is that there happen to be two accounts (though we do not know if that is two people) and the user or users involved happen to (presumably) work for Google.

    That is the sum total of what we know, and on the back of that, and without approaching Google at all, two leading board members have decided to reveal personal information about two of our users.

    It seems to me that this is just an attempt to get some cheap publicity by trying to like the project to the Mocality incident, and I cannot support such behaviour.

  • by jkflying (2190798) on Tuesday January 17, 2012 @09:55AM (#38724498)

    From a comment on the first linked page:

    Tom Hughes said...

    As the person who (in my role as an OpenStreetMap system administrator) first discovered this `incident' let me start by saying that I consider this post to be grossly irresponsible and wholly inappropriate.

    The board of OSMF are making mountains out of tiny pimples here. It seems that they want this to be some sort of organised corporate malfeasance on the part of Google which is why they have tried to link it to the recent Mocality incident where there was indeed clear evidence of such behaviour.

    The reality in this case is that there is no evidence that this is any different to the numerous other incidents we get all the time where users either accidentally or deliberately make bogus edits. The only difference in this case is that there happen to be two accounts (though we do not know if that is two people) and the user or users involved happen to (presumably) work for Google.

    That is the sum total of what we know, and on the back of that, and without approaching Google at all, two leading board members have decided to reveal personal information about two of our users.

    It seems to me that this is just an attempt to get some cheap publicity by trying to like the project to the Mocality incident, and I cannot support such behaviour. ...

    Only two of the seventeen accounts mentioned appear to have done anything identified as improper, and we have no idea how many of those accesses relate to those accounts or indeed to signed in vs not signed in users.

    Trying to read that as meaning that there have been 100,000 instances of vandalism is completely misleading.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 17, 2012 @10:01AM (#38724582)

    Also says
    Tom Hughes said...
    I am told that this posting was in fact made in a personal capacity and as such any suggestion on my part that it represents an official position of the OSMF board is incorrect and should be disregarded.

    Only two of the seventeen accounts mentioned appear to have done anything identified as improper, and we have no idea how many of those accesses relate to those accounts or indeed to signed in vs not signed in users.

    Trying to read that as meaning that there have been 100,000 instances of vandalism is completely misleading.

  • Re:Evil (Score:5, Informative)

    by JWSmythe (446288) <jwsmythe@jwsmyth ... minus physicist> on Tuesday January 17, 2012 @10:10AM (#38724720) Homepage Journal

    Disable adblock for a minute, and check it yourself. :)

    They don't have the regular adword ads. They do have business listings in the map. Most of the business listings show up if you search for something like "pizza near 10011".

  • Public WiFi (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 17, 2012 @10:20AM (#38724846)

    Google has open public WiFi available on many of its offices that you can pick up from across the street. You can't easily tell machines on those networks from internal machines.

    Just pointing that out.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 17, 2012 @11:52AM (#38726186)
    This is why I always scroll to about halfway down the comments before reading. The first post (and replies) is always unrelated and pointless. The last ones are unfunny jokes that are often the same as the unfunny jokes half-way down the comments, except that the poster couldn't be bothered to read the comments before posting so only about the middle half of the comments are of any relevance whatsoever.
  • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Tuesday January 17, 2012 @12:42PM (#38726872) Journal
    Note that Evil Microsoft permits OpenStreetMap to trace its aerial photography to generate maps, and uses OSM data, and cooperates in several other ways with OSM, while Don't-Be-Evil Google tries to pretend that OSM doesn't exist and pushes Android handset makers to include Google Maps instead of an OSM app (in spite of the fact OSM has more detailed maps everywhere I've tested them) and does not share any of their mapping data - including user-provided data - with the community.

Statistics are no substitute for judgement. -- Henry Clay

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