So gathering data for crowdsourced maps like OpenStreetMap is illegal unless you get the Chinese government's permission.
I wonder why? And also, how they could possibly enforce it -- if you drive around with GPS logging turned on and don't tell anybody, how do they find out?
EDIT: According to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Restrictions_on_geographic_dat... it "uses an obfuscation algorithm which adds apparently random offsets to both the latitude and longitude, with the alleged goal of improving national security."
True, there are probably legitimate military reasons to keep accurate maps of your territory out of the hands of potential enemies. But surely any country thinking of attacking China with, say, GPS guided missiles / bombs would also be quite capable of getting an accurate map with satellite imagery, or for that matter, a few agents carrying ordinary smartphones with GPS logging turned on...
I tend to wonder how they'll get self-driving vehicles to work over there (hmm - I wonder if there are any Baidu papers on this issue available?)...
Source: I worked at Trimble.
Edit, read the rest of the article to put the linked section into context. The commies are trying to obfuscate a map grid? That's just nutty. Are they really going to arrest everyone who is found in possession of a magnetised needle?