(This is a shortened and rough translation of the original blog post in german, which you can find here.)
Mapping places for Openstreetmap (OSM) can be very easy: Explore, collect data and put the results into the openstreetmap database. However, sometimes your notes might be incomplete and questions arise: Where was this street crossing again? What was the name of this restaurant? Wasn't there a post box? How many times have you thought of using street photos from Google Streetview in order to check? Never? Come on!
Deriving data for OSM from Google Streetview is illegal
Nobody will argue that up to date photos of streets wouldn't be of great value to the openstreetmap community. But licenses forbid using data from Google Streetview. However, there is now a Google Streetview competitor, _sightwalk, a service run by the german company panogate GmbH. Panogate's _sightwalk offers high quality street photos in which the user can easily navigate. The service uses openstreetmap data to generate maps displaying the actual position of the location. So why not give something in return to the OSM-community?
_sightwalk allows openstreetmap users to derive data
Jochen Topf from Geofabrik asked and got an answer: Panogate wants to support openstreetmap and allows users to derive data from _sightwalk photos. The photos themselves remain under copyright. The corresponding german wiki page suggests to include the additional tag "source=sightwalk.de" in all derived data.
_sightwalk started in April 2009 and covers right now only few german cities, namely Cologne (Köln), Munich (München), and Düsseldorf. In a few weeks Hamburg, Berlin, and Bonn will be added. Let's hope that _sightwalk will soon cover more areas. This might trigger an explosion of the number of submitted Points of Interests (POIs) in covered cities and offers an additional possibility for checking data.
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