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You're forgetting one detail that I think should be emphasized here: OSM is about free knowledge (as in freedom). You can use, modify and share OSM data however you want. Apple on the other hand is hoarding its information. You can only access it through their products in the ways they intended. They control everything (as always).

I do believe it when Apple says they're respecting their users' privacy, just like I believe it when DDG says that. But I am disappointed when I see how these companies neglect freedom and how so few of their users care about it.




It’s disappointing that DDG isn’t supporting an open infrastructure, but when you think about it their offering is in fact a closed infrastructure similar in principle to Apple’s. It is a closed product, but which promises to protect your privacy. That has value when choosing to use a service in the short term, but it’s not something to build on or to rely on in the long term, after all both companies could make any pivot they want if their incentives change in future. A better model would be contributing to a search engine which is open source, that cannot pivot without being forked.


Agreed, even though it's extremely unlikely companies like Apple or DuckDuckGo will pivot.

Another big argument for supporting free software solutions is to do it for the people who want/need freedom (like whistleblowers or activists).


> You can use, modify and share OSM data however you want.

You are still free to do that with OSM. Not sure what that has to do with DDG. Just because they don't want to use OSM, doesn't change any of your rights to using OSM.

> Apple on the other hand is hoarding its information.

You are free to requisition a fleet of mapping vehicles, drones and satellites and gather your own maps information and share it with whomever you want. If Apple is the one paying a ton of money to create their information, I'm not sure why it's surprising that they want to use that information in their products.

You don't have a right to Apple's mapping data any more than you have a right to Colonel Sanders's chicken recipe -- however, nothing is stopping you from making your own chicken recipe and sharing it with whomever you want. You could even start a community around sharing chicken recipes. That some people don't care about chicken recipe secrecy doesn't harm your rights to enjoy chicken with recipes created and shared by you or your friends. Some of us actually just want to buy some fried chicken and not worry about the provenance of the recipe. We have more important priorities (for us) than the openness of a private company's chicken preparation secrets. We just want good tasting chicken. Many of us aren't chicken enthusiasts, spending our time lamenting the secrecy of the Colonel's chicken choices.

What it really sounds like the source of your complaint is that if DDG doesn't continue to use OSM, then perhaps OSM will suffer for it. If that's the real origin of your disdain for this decision, then perhaps OSM isn't as valuable in the marketplace of ideas as people might think it is. However, if this actually doesn't affect OSM (I don't think it does,) then that means that DDG can use whatever they want and the OSM folks can happily share to their heart's content.


Apple has more than enough money. More than they'll ever need. It's actively employing strategies to avoid taxes. I think they can afford to do some public service from time to time, even if it means (in absolute numbers, massive) losses (if you don't count the value of having done something good for the people).

I'm not saying Apple does nothing for the open source scene. In fact, they're maintaining some important projects (like WebKit). But when you have billions of dollars that you don't know what to do with stored in some offshore haven, you could do a bit more.


Apple do support OSM. In one European country, Apple Maps actually uses OSM data solely.


Yeah and that's nice but I think they could do better (than developing their own proprietary maps)




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