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Can I legally share this map? Copyrights of maps.


A map is worth a thousand words, every map lover knows that. Many of us share maps on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram and blogs like Geoaweosmeness write about them. But are we allowed to do that?

Maps should be treaded like any other intellectual property or a piece of art. As a general rule, you can’t publish a map or an image which is not owned by you without the permission of the author or the owner, unless the image is covered by something like a Creative Commons license used by OpenStreetMap.

In fact the law gives the copyright owner the right to decide where their work is published. So if you don’t have a consent from the owner you should not publish the work on your site, in your book, include in your newsletter or distribute to your social media network. It is worth noting that according to the law it is not enough to give credit to the author.

So how do it happen that blogs, newspapers and people publish tons of maps and images online?

So how do it happen that blogs, newspapers and people publish and share tons of maps and images online? There is an exception from copyrights law called “fair use”. Under fair use maps, images, text, and other works that would otherwise be protected by copyright law may be used without the author’s permission.

It sounds easy but it fact the interpretation of this rules might be very broad and tricky, as there are no hard and fast rules for it. There are just couple of guidelines.  Section 107 of the Copyright Act states:

The fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright.

In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include—the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes; the nature of the copyrighted work; the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

When it comes to maps we typically don’t modify them, we publish them as they are for commentary, criticism or news reporting reasons. On the other hand Geoawesomeness like many other blogs earns on renting ad space, so we can be considered a for-profit website. Still in that case the copyright infringement would happen only if we would be e.g. selling a T-shirt with a particular map printed. Running a for-profit website doesn’t negate the fact that a map has been used for news reporting. It was close, but it seems that we are on a safe side:).

Still, the problem with fair use is that someone else might interpret it in a different way. Also different countries have different rules…

Still, we strongly believe that sharing a great map (and we try to write only about great maps) is done for a greater good. What do you think?

source: EFF, Lifehacker, Socialmediaexaminer

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Learning JavaScript @Udemy #BlackFriday

JavaScript is one of our favorite programming languages at Geoawesomeness and interestingly it is the second most popular language among Geogeeks who participated in the “Learning GIS Programming: What is your favourite way to learn coding?” post.

And so naturally when the folks at Udemy, an online learning platform contacted us to ask if we would be interested in highlighting a Black Friday sale for courses on their platform, we choose to ask them to specifically highlight the courses relating to JavaScript.

Majority of their paid courses are on sale for a limited time ($10), so go ahead and check them out and see if of the courses are of interest to you 🙂

Here’s what they had to say:

Below are 10 of the most highly recommended JavaScript courses on Udemy, all on sale for just $10 for a limited time:

JavaScript: Understanding the Weird Parts: Avoid common pitfalls in JavaScript by understanding advanced concepts that will improve your abilities in AngularJS, NodeJS, jQuery, and more.

Learning Dynamic Website Design – PHP MySQL and JavaScript: Build attractive, functional websites with tools that include PHP, MySQL, CSS, JavaScript, and AJAX.

Projects in JavaScript and jQuery: Master all aspects of JavaScript and jQuery by working on 10 projects that will improve your skills in everything from HTML5 and CSS3, to JavaScript and responsive design.

Learning JavaScript Programming Tutorial. A Definitive Guide: Designed for the absolute beginner, this course will teach you about programming before diving into all aspects of JavaScript.

JavaScript for Beginners Learn by Doing Practical Exercises: This course is for beginners who are in search of a quick and easy way to learn JavaScript.

1 Hour JavaScript: For complete beginners, this course will have you coding in JavaScript in just one hour.

JavaScript the Good Parts: Functions to Error-Free Code: Become a better programmer by mastering all of JavaScript’s best parts while avoiding common problems.

Essential JavaScript, jQuery and AngularJS Training: Perfect for web designers and developers, this course will get you started with JavaScript, jQuery, and AngularJS by teaching you all of the essentials.

Web Development by Doing: JavaScript: Learn JavaScript from scratch, including real, practical applications for web design or front end development.

The Complete Web Developer Course – Build 14 Websites: In just 6 weeks, learn everything you need to be a web developer, including HTML, JavaScript, CSS, PHP, MySQL, and much more. Practice by building 14 websites.

Happy JavaScript-ing 🙂

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