Map project accuses Google users of edits

Jan. 17, 2012 at 6:24 PM

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 17 (UPI) -- The OpenStreetMap project, an open source mapping group competing with Google Maps, say user accounts in India linked to Google have tampered with its data.

Accounts attached to a range of Google Internet addresses in India have been maliciously vandalizing OpenStreetMap data, OSM project members said.

The allegation comes after an incident in which users behind a Google IP [Interent protocol] address in India were caught using data taken from a Kenyan online business directory called Mocality, Wired reported.

Google apologized for that incident, but on Monday an OpenStreetMap board member informed Wired users from the same IP address range in India had been vandalizing OpenStreetMap data.

"Preliminary results show users from Google IP address ranges in India deleting, moving, and abusing OSM data including subtle edits like reversing one-way streets," a blog post by OSM members reported by CNET News said.

A statement from Google said two people behind the accounts were contractors using machines on Google's network but said the contractors were "acting on their own behalf."

The contractors are "no longer working on Google projects," the statement said.

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