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At the moment the biggest problem with #raw data is that there are just too many formats out there.

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Map imagesEdit

Sample map imagesEdit

Sources of map imagesEdit


não há realmente um motivo plausível pelo qual os arquivos geográficos possam ser protegidos por lei de propriedade intelectual, bem, neste caso poderemos utilizá-los em nosso trabalho, automaticamente extraímos as suas referências de origem, e use-o. enquanto isto for considerado legal, EU (Taw) creio que nós possamos utilizar as informações n'ele contidas para pôr conteúdo informativo em domínio público.

IANALB, meu conhecimento é de que este direito autoral não protege ideias porém expressões de cunho técnico e tangível, não ficando prejudicado o direito à propriedade intelectual. por exemplo, For example, my local phone book has a copyright notice, and I am pretty sure a compiler of a phone book won an infringement complaint against someone who copied nothing but the inherently dull part of the phone book. Whether the compiler of the phone book invented or assigned the numbers is not the issue in the copyright protection of phone books. Rather, the compilation of the numbers is a tangible expression of the underlying information (the ideas, no matter how vapid an idea a phone-book entry is), and it is that compilation that is the object of the copyright protection, not the entries one by one.
IMO the reason for geographical data having copyright protection is the same as for telephone books having copyright protection: a compilation of geographic data probably has copyright protection, not because anyone believes the compiler of the data invented the locations that the map features have, but because compiling a (graphical) record of those locations makes someone the author of the map that expresses the ideas that, e.g. "the border runs straight north here" and "the border makes a 47-degree turn here."
More concretely, IMO, a set of digital "raw data" "extracted" from a copyright-protected map is a derivative work, and creation of derivative works is one of the exclusive rights of a copyright holder. I'm not sure whether the map you produce from that digital data is more problematic as a second-order derivative work or as a copy of the original map (the intervening digital form doesn't keep it from being a copy any more than an intervening negative form keeps a photo from being a copy). But in any case, you're looking for a loophole where (IMO) none exists.
And I don't consider this final thought a matter of opinion: you need an intellectual-property lawyer, not the judgments, of however many of us laypeople, about what "There is really no reason" for. That will always be the case when you're trying to find a way, permitted by copyright law, of avoiding duplication of effort -- unless you have the cooperation of whoever previously made that effort. Jerzy 05:36, 9 Sep 2003 (UTC)
But telephone books are NOT copyrighted. Taw 15:08, 9 Sep 2003 (UTC)

Translation the 2nd paragraph: Topware was already sentenced to heavy penalties in 1996. At that time the authorities investigated because of copyright infringement; Topware had ordered 621 Chinese to type off telephone books of Germany and used it for their product D-Info -- unfortunately without approval by Deutsche Telekom. --Head

Just to touch up Head's translation (though the differences are insignificant for purposes of this page):
  • The translation is the relevant portion of the 2nd 'graph; it omits the last sentence.
  • The German original says verbatim "Chinese in China" in place of (what may be a slip of the pen) simply "Chinese". (I'm not sure whether that sounds as awkward in German as I find it in English but I assume a freer, more conventional translation might go "... arranged in China for 621 local workers to transcribe...". Disclaimer: my German is inadequate for me to fully check the translation or make my own.) Jerzy 04:53, 15 Sep 2003 (UTC)
But what then about Quoting:
We conclude that the names, towns, and telephone numbers copied by Feist were not original to Rural and therefore were not protected by the copyright in Rural's combined white and yellow pages directory. As a constitutional matter, copyright protects only those constituent elements of a work that possess more than a de minimis quantum of creativity. Rural's white pages, limited to basic subscriber information and arranged alphabetically, fall short of the mark. As a statutory matter, 17 U.S.C. § 101 does not afford protection [p*364] from copying to a collection of facts that are selected, coordinated, and arranged in a way that utterly lacks originality. Given that some works must fail, we cannot imagine a more likely candidate. Indeed, were we to hold that Rural's white pages pass muster, it is hard to believe that any collection of facts could fail.

Quotations from :

Hard work is not enough to gain copyright protection.

The Requirements to Claim Copyright Are:

  • Fixation
  • Originality
  • Minimal Creativity

Raw GIS data passes none of these 3 criteria,

I find that opinion credible, but, to repeat my central point, you need an intellectual property lawyer, not common sense, to know it is "legally correct." Trying to use telephone directories (sometimes protected and sometimes not but in any case described as the least deserving of protection) as evidence that something else is unprotected suggests how hopeless our settling it with common sense is.
While I know nothing about "fixation," my common-sense opinion is that my compilation of a set of points to approximate the border of Poland (which is far too complex a piece of info to be represented *precisely* on a printed page or computer screen) would be an act that
  • could be done without drawing on another cartographer's work (and isn't that originality?) and
  • could involve subjective judgements and undefinable intuition about which details have so little psychological impact that they are worth omitting (and isn't that minimal creativity?).
So it is credible, at least, that you are wrong twice in saying "none" of the 3. I will bet "fixation" is subject to similar doubt, and I repeat that no one but an intellectual-property lawyer (e.g., not me, and not you) is qualified to decide whether fixation applies or whether your overall plan is sound. (Interesting tho it is to read these cases and guides!) Jerzy 03:43, 14 Sep 2003 (UTC)

Lawyers are needed for advise when there's some doubt. But the situation is completely clear - raw data is not copyrightable - and we're not taking nothing more than raw data. Taw 05:45, 14 Sep 2003 (UTC)

See: Geographical data


The most promising way is described in The first useful map.



See: The full map

One more method is to use polygons for countries. Polygons on this map are more or less up to date, but their grouping into countries is both outdated and buggy.


Using the "Generic Mapping Tools" projectEdit

This may be found at

Here's an example map, obtained with pscoast -R0/18/36/54 -JX6i -P -B5g5 -G180/120/60 -Ia/1p/0/0/128 -I1/2p/0/0/192 -Na/2p/128/64/64


This map's just too ugly and we have all the data available without GMT.

Can't the GMT be customised to produce the desired output? It's open source (though it's not clear from the site which flavour), so at least some of the code is useful, surely? MrJones

Here is a nicer example:

    pscoast -R0/18/36/54 -JM3i -P -G32/141/43 -Ia/.01p/100/164/217 -Na/1p/0/60/0 -S100/164/217 -Dh 


GMT is a suite of utilities with tremendous configurability. The first map above is an example of However, it's geared towards geophysicists and related fields. It ships with a database with very detailed coastlines of the whole world. It has a poorer resolution on major rivers. It's fully scriptable, and thus adapted for plotting maps showing the location of elements from data sources.

A map done using GMT.

Using XPlanetEdit

Notes on XPlanet_notes main page - still tuning various parameters, but wanted to put this image up as an example of what xplanet might be capable of producing. It's an orthographic projection centred on Warsaw.


Apologies that I've not localised the city-names yet...

Dynamap Mediawiki ExtensionEdit

Dynamap example, showing the Suez Canal

I'm currently developing a Mediawiki-Extension which implements a simple markup language for maps. The key feature is easy editability. Coordinates will not show up in the map definition, except to select the shown area. All plotted features will either come from external datafiles (rivers, coast lines, borders), or will simply be references to geocoded wikipedia articles. Check the example on the right, it shows a map of the Sinai peninsula in egypt generated using the following markup:

area: 31.68457,31,27.531738,35.5
image: 450


level: 1
stroke: 1
color: black
layer: africa-cil

# Suez Canal, also clickable
color: #F07568
stroke: 6
poly: Suez Canal

# major cities in the area
radius: 8
color: #B00000
point: Cairo
radius: 4
point: Sharm el-Sheikh
point: Port Said
point: Suez

The extension parses the wikipedia articles referenced using the poly: and point: commands and extrats coordinate information. The point: commans looks for coor templates. For the poly: command I propose a new template called geopoly. Output is an SVG image with clickable links to the referenced articles as well as a png version for browsers without SVG support.

This extension should facilitate the quick generation of simple maps, which will be easily translatable to different languages.

The new version of the map features filled polygons with a colour scheme from en:Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Maps, a new super fast clipping algorithm to minimize svg output size, and a new dataset (GSHHS).

Feel free to check my test-installation. --Dschwen 22:13, 11 August 2005 (UTC)

This project has been and will be dormant in favour of the development of the WikiMiniAtlas. --Dschwen 22:52, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

Google Map ExtensionsEdit

Using WMS-Services - QuickWMS-ExtensionEdit

The QuickkWMS-Extension for MediaWiki is using QuickWMS. It uses external WMS-Servers for displying maps.

Beispiel / Sample



Using a georeferenced image for point display - Point-Mapping ExtensionEdit


The Point-Mapping Extension (MapPoint) combines a georeferenced image (map) and point-coordinates. The result is a map with a points where they should be.


  • using georeferenz for a map (an image)
  • representation of one point of situation by means of geographical coordinates
  • representation as many points you want
  • linkage of the point with any URL
  • reference display window when driving over the point with the mouse

Samples and CodeEdit