Google Maps SDI Thoughts

Richmond Maps nearly everything…

Its great to see my own local authority making great use of Google Maps, as pointed out  by the Mapperz team , Richmond Council have produced a series of maps using Google Maps to illustrate most of their local services, including a pet subject of mine Recycling sites


There is much to be said for a very simple approach like this, the maps are straight forward and communicate a single type of service each, and therefore are simple to use.

Behind the scenes the locations could also be  indexed and become part of the ever increasing geoweb discovered by other websites and services, remember key to the success of the web is the ability to consume information via different channels. 

Such an approach also illustrates the potential for developing a UK Spatial Data Infrastructure from the ground up, at least one focused at the needs of citizen in contrast to the more formal approach developing SDI’s for professional use.

The next step would be for Richmond to publish these points of interest as a feed (KML/GeoRSS), so they would be more easily accessible to anyone wanting to integrate local services in to their own applications. But for the residents of Richmond having this information easily accessible in this way is an important step forward..

Well done Richmond !!

Written and submitted from the Google Office, London.

7 replies on “Richmond Maps nearly everything…”

@anthony, Ed previously blogged a link where Richmond provided a text list that had descriptions of the recycling bank locations. So I’m guessing the google map isn’t pin point accurate, but it will get you the right part of the road from where you should be able to see the recycling bins.

I’ve been meaning to go hunting for all the recycling banks in the Twickenham to Teddington area and add them to OpenStreetMap. Turns out that area needs quite a bit of OSM road work anyway. I caught a few missing roads and missing names around Twickenham Green, I’ll have to see how many recycling banks are mapped when I return in the Summer.

Both, I still argue and would be happy to do so until the proverbial cows come home, that because no OS map contains recycling bins, their location cannot be derived data – this data belongs to Richmond and they quite rightly are sharing it in this way.


What you (and we) might argue is different from the line that the lawyers will take when looking at the legal documents from OS and Google that say otherwise.

And whilst you may have a point about recycling points (though are you sure OS doesn’t show any of those?) everything else on the Richmond list will be on the OS maps.


I think you will find that the Google documents are clear is saying that is your data, I know that’s not the mis-information the OS is communicating, but then in the words of Mandy Rice-Davies “Well they would, wouldn’t they”..

“Google claims no ownership over Your Content, and You retain copyright and any other rights you already hold in Your Content”

There is no derived data virus clause there…

I would still argue that even though Teddington Library may appear on an OS map, I think it would be almost impossible for the OS to argue it’s location as depicted on Google Maps is in any way derived from their representation.

The OS may be fishing for another AA case to make, but there is nothing for them here…

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