11 May 2009

Open Mapping Considered Harmful

If you want further proof that openness is inherently subversive, try this:

China's Bureau of Surveying and Mapping (BSM) has warned foreigners to turn off the GPS functions on their mobile phones, or risk arrest.

The bureau warned foreigners using GPS devices on mainland China that they could be detained if suspected of conducting illegal mapping.

The bureau has launched a crackdown on “illegal surveying”, the South China Morning Post reported, with foreigners the main targets.

Hmm, nobody seems to have told the OpenStreetMap people, who are merrily mapping China.... (Via James Fallows.)

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Anonymous said...

I Chinese told me: Private surveying and mapping is illegal in China. As a Chinese citizen, I could be fined two times of the "illegal remuneration" (that's none for a non-profit project like OSM, haha), and if it was any foreigners, he/she could be deported.

See the Surveying and Mapping Law of the People's Republic of China:


Glyn Moody said...

@katpatuka: interesting - thanks for the link