[OSGeo-Standards] [OSGeo-Discuss] Discuss Digest, Vol 103, Issue 20

Mr. Puneet Kishor punk.kish at gmail.com
Mon Jul 27 03:01:22 PDT 2015

Hello all, hi Jonathan,

> On Jul 27, 2015, at 11:42 AM, Jonathan Moules <J.Moules at hrwallingford.com> wrote:
> These systems may fail from a GIS perspective, but that's because their primary design goal is ease-of-use by the general public.

Ease-of-use from the POV of the general public varies from culture to culture, context to context, time to time. Thinking that we can create a universal code that everyone in the world will glom on to is just fanciful and really a waste of time. If it had been needed badly, it would have created. Those who understand or can use lat/lon, already do so, or just punch it in a device. Those who understand “200 feet from the wooden bridge to the right of the banyan tree” use that  and are happy with it.

And that mapcode site that someone mentioned is being considered as an ISO standard; first, mapcode is being filed by mapcode folks to become an ISO standard. That is not the same as “it is being considered as a standard.” Besides, what a confused jumble of instructions regarding its licensing:

"It was decided to donate the mapcode system to the public domain in 2008."

"The Stichting Mapcode Foundation is a non-profit foundation, established in The Netherlands (Chamber of Commerce RSIN registration number 852726284), which holds all the patents, rights, brands, designs, properties, collateral, algorithms, data tables and IP related to map codes.” (which part of Public Domain do they not understand?)

"The Mapcode Foundation is the only authorized entity that is allowed to maintain, change or adapt its software or tables.” (Oh, good! I should trust them to do the right thing forever)

"The mapcode algorithms and data tables may not be altered in any way that would result in the production of different (and thus incompatible) mapcodes. The mapcode algorithms and data tables may not be used in any way to generate a different system that produces codes to represent locations. In order to prevent misuse, unauthorised alterations, copying or commercial exploitation, please note that the ideas and algorithms behind the mapcode system have been patented and that the term "mapcode" is a registered trademark of the Stichting Mapcode Foundation.” (so, this system meant for global use cannot be used for commercial purposes; which part of the world can subsist on love and free air?)

There are a bunch of interesting problems to be solved in the geo realm. In my view, a globally usable location system is not one of them. But hey, its a free world and there are many wheels to reinvent.

Puneet Kishor
Just Another Creative Commoner

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