Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Get with the programme

So Ed is half right and half wrong.

Half wrong (and not just for the awsome misspelling): "your only open when you're losing". What this actually means is that when you're open you can't lose. By definition. But Ed knows that.

Half right: Ed goes to the freetard gathering (that's us) to get ideas. Smart move. This is why Google and Ed are dominating the geosphere and no-one else is anywhere to be seen, apart from us and maybe Apple have some secret stuff in a lab somewhere.

Yes, the smart guys have figured how crowdsourcing their R&D gets better results and you don't even have to pay for it. So in the spirit of being open here's some hints for other geospatial d00ds on how to monetise the freetard community, from someone who knows. No charge.

Vanessa Lawrence: Ed knew you're going to have to open up, and admit it, you know it too. So give away the cheap stuff and keep Mastermap to yourself. Announce some sort of partnership with us, it'll win over the /. crowd and give you kudos in Government - so DCLG is more likely to pony up for you to map Monmouthshire - while essentially meaning fuck all. Drop the NC clause on Openspace, it makes you look stupid (everyone uses GMaps anyway) and gives the typotards at the Grauniad even more reason to grumble. Speaking of who:

Charles Arthur : Read some economics books, hippy.

Oh, and you might want to bid for serialisation rights on Sean's autobiog.

Jack Dangermouse, ESRI: Wow. You guys are still here? I guess you could open a museum or something.

No, I've got a better idea. Open source some old version of ARCwank that no-one uses. It will make no difference to anyone but the OSGeo guys will implode from the excitement and you'll be doing us a huge favour.

Tristram da Cunha or whatever the fuck that guy at Getmapping is called: Give us the imagery. This one is so obvious I'm almost amazed you haven't done it yet. We cook up some dual licensing stuff for the tracings, so you have the data under do-what-the-fuck-you-want-to conditions and we have it under whatever license we're using that week. We get our Germans to do the reproj into something sane and the hosting, no cost to you. End result is that you get the data three millennia quicker than relying on five people from Basingstoke using the People's Map, and you can still sell it to other guys with beards for much moolah. Come on.

Yahoo: Clearly the Borg will close YMaps and replace it with a skin on VE, just like Multimap, so you might as well go for scorched earth. Now even the ever optimistic El Coasto can't see your lawyers ok'ing a rerelease of the entire TeleAtlas dataset for free... but your code, well that's a different matter.

As you well know all your lovingly crafted render code is going to be subject to rm -rf / as soon as the Microtards move in - actually, no, it'll be del *.*, they still use 8.3 internally y'know - so, give it away and get the freetards on side. The worst that can happen is that someone actually starts using it so you all get lucrative consultancy jobs when the first Borg slice-and-dice hits Yahoo geo. If you're really lucky we might even hire you.

Oh yeah, and one more.

Ed: Don't be evil.

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