Map woes

Streetdirectory.com is still grappling with some issues, and although I’ve been loathe to use it for navigational purposes, I’ve found it useful lately as a business directory when I’ve searched for businesses like furniture repairers and shit.

Today, instead of a blank rectangle where the map usually appears after a painful wait of several seconds, the people who run streetdirectory.com have put in what they think is a message that, by way of what they think is humour, placate people looking for directions to far flung places in Singapore.

Asia Travel : Map of 10 Lorong Nangka (S) 425103
Uploaded with plasq‘s Skitch!

Dear Users
Our Singapore Maps have escaped out the window!

They were last seen wearing many layers of data acquired through many hours of painstaking land surveys.

They are up-to-date and considered highly
user-friendly.
The public is advised to avoid travelling to unfamiliar places in the meantime.

Rest assured, we’ve got our best men on the ground trying to bring them back, but we’ll need your help too!

We’ll tell you how in the days to come. 🙂
Editor
Streetdirectory.com

Facebook Comments

12 thoughts on “Map woes”

  1. Personally I hate streetdirectory.com because they sued me for using one map… which now turns out that map actually belongs to somebody else. So…. I hope they get sued. if there is a class action suit against them I will be the first in line. Yup… I don't like them.

  2. As an outsider living here, I have to say that I'm heartened that a company like Streetdirectory.com is being sued by the government and will almost certainly end up going out of business. It's not that they didn't offer a useful product, they did. But two factors show me that this was, if nothing else, an unethical company and deserving of going out of business. 1 – their ruthless business tactics against inadvertent “infringement” (I'd compare them to the RIAA when it comes to music piracy); 2 – they didn't actually have a right to use the very core material that they themselves were suing people over.

    Their argument was that they'd added so much material to the maps that they qualified as copyrightable in their own right. This is utter BS, and your court took almost no time in shooting down this argument (I have to wonder who was giving legal advice to these turkeys. I wouldn't want them on my side in an IP dispute). It doesn't matter that they added value to the core product. If you take someone's book and add footnotes, concordances and other helpful information, you still can't sell (or even give away) copies of the marked up book without the original author's permission. It's that simple. Streetdirectory took basic map data owned by the SLA and re-sold it without a license to do so, then had the unmitigated audacity to sue other people who would use a copy of a map section to show where their businesses were located (something that could arguably be considered fair use). To me, any person who engages in these kinds of business practices should never suceed. They have lots of balls, but little else.

    In the short term, Singapore is going to be deprived of a useful product. But already Google maps offering a decent local mapping product (as an aside, I gotta wonder where streetdirectory.com was getting their satellite images, and if they were properly licensing them ;-), and it will be a very short matter of time before other local companies step in to fill the void, probably improving the product along the way.

    I know that to many this appears to be a heavy handed government action taken for no good reason. But, at least in my opinion, and in this instance, this seems like a very pro-Singaporean action by the government.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *