Commercial use of satellite imagery

#1
Hi,
I want to know is it possible to use satellite imagery for commercial use? It doesn't matter if it's google or BING or Yahoo. And also can I use Google 3d model's warehouse for commercial purpose?
 
#2
Yes you can. Prior you need to obtain permissions from google, bing, yahoo - it will cost you good money. The same with Google warehouse models. For those you need to contact author and speak with em.
If you don not want or you cannot obtain such a things you can freely use mapquest, but you need to credit them in your scenery, manual, readme file, any description...
And of course learn 3D yourself...
 
Last edited:
#3
If you don not want or you cannot obtain such a things you an freely use mapquest, but you need to credit them in your scenery, manual, readme file, any description...
And of course learn 3D yourself...
Where is that stated? According to Mapquest's Terms of Use

Provided you comply with these Terms of Use, MapQuest grants you a nonexclusive, non-transferable license to view and print the Materials solely for your own personal non-commercial use.
http://info.mapquest.com/terms-of-use/
 
#4
Yes you can. Prior you need to obtain permissions from google, bing, yahoo - it will cost you good money. The same with Google warehouse models. For those you need to contact author and speak with em.
If you don not want or you cannot obtain such a things you an freely use mapquest, but you need to credit them in your scenery, manual, readme file, any description...
And of course learn 3D yourself...
But MapQuest also uses Google or bing maps. Actually, I want to use the 3d model for a photo real scenery project, and if I want to contact with authors, I need to contact with hundreds of them.
And speaking of learning 3d, can I ask you that if it is possible to make night texture for google 3d models?
 
#5
Yes - the situation is understandably not too simple with using aerials for commercial purposes. You can probably see why - those are not cheap to make.

As for making night textures on Warehouse objects - you wouldn't neccessarily need to learn 3D modelling for that, you could make night textures from base textures and modify materials in e.g. ModelConverterX, you would still need to have the appropriate permission though.
 
#6
Well, unfortunately I lost my previous correspondence with mapquest but I just asked them again. It may look a bit silly but anyway.. lol
Previous answer was similar to this one.

Me
To open@mapquest.com
Today at 2:55 PM
Hi Mapquest team,

I have a short question once again about use of maps in commercial product.
I am Microsoft Flight simulator, Prepar3D, X-plane add-on developer.
Currently I have One of the Europe's Airport in 3D development to be used as an add-on for above mentioned platforms and would love to bring some shape of realism in it just by adding grass textures in between taxiways and runway, so basicly only airport area.
So, What do I need is to capture the area I need and apply the Image as a texture in 3D editing program like Blender.

Unfortunately Mapquest has no closeup imagery for Europe at all and I decided to take some out of USA instead which is fine and makes no difference as terrain is changing its look anyway..
Unfortunately Google Maps and Bing Maps are too expensive to me and I'm pushed to do mixes and masks so final product cannot be recognized.
I have heard that Mapquest are free to use if Developer do credits of you in the copyright area, is that right or I still need to obtain a License to be able to use maps in this kind of Commercial project ?

Im a little confused between what you were saying last time and here in Terms of use http://info.mapquest.com/terms-of-use/



Thanks in advance and I look forward to hearing from you soon.


Edgar.
Reply, Reply All or Forward | More
Barbara, Joe
To Meopen
Today at 3:03 PM

Yeas its free to uses as long as you site the data source and give mapquest credit as well visibly on the map

Show message history
Reply, Reply All or Forward | More
So I asked them twice. I think they would point me in right direction where I would obtain such license...
 

Attachments

Last edited:

arno

Administrator
Staff member
FSDevConf team
Resource contributor
#7
Google, Microsoft, yahoo don't really own the imagery themselves either. They have licenses from the companies that made the imagery. If you want to buy the imagery for commercial use you better contact those companies directly. For most places in the world buying the imagery is the only way to use it in a scenery (either freeware or payware).

About the google 3d model warehouse, I think if you read their license correctly it should be allow to use the models. When you add a model you grant permission for others to use it as well and I haven't seen restrictions on how to use it. But it is probably still better to ask the authors if in doubt.
 
#8
Interesting, but the Terms of Use also read:

These Terms of Use constitute the entire agreement between you and MapQuest with respect to the Materials and this website...
That means the Terms of Use trump anything else.

CORRECTION

There is another set of Terms of Use for Open MapQuest which do merely require acknowledgement.
 
Last edited:
#9
My main purpose for using satellite imagery is for night texture. So what if I edit the image in a way that destroy the integrity of it, for example, example by adding watermarks, logo. Sign to it so people can't use it in daytime flight.
Still I need to pay for images?
 
#10
As Far as I Know there is no night satellite imagery. All that you need to do is MIX/MASK/Convert/Inverse/Paint/Create...
This Night texture been made out simple road map (Not satellite Imagery). So basically take any road atlass then scan it and make it in Gimp or Photoshop.
Im not going to explain Steps and howtos.
This would be your own creation, your own artwork. If you think that this is not, then paint by hand out your own memory which is always free. :D
 
#12
Whatever way your texture works. In my case map been printed out in 1960s by USSR printing company (whatever) they do not exist even author died, Atlass has no Copyrights, no contact address, no telephones, faxes, emails... Seems Legit. :D
 

rhumbaflappy

Moderator
Staff member
Resource contributor
#13
Some copyright effectiveness varies from country to country. I'm sure if you are in North Korea, you need not worry about infringing Google's rights, or their suppliers'...

As far as FSDeveloper goes, rights are your problem, not ours. We are not especially concerned with the morality or ethics of your decisions.

Our main concern is that our forum members protect themselves from the legal machinery that could crush you financially. Please don't expose yourselves to lawsuit. And don't assume Google or Microsoft or someone else will overlook you. They might... but then again they may seek to make an example of you.

Be sure you can legally use the imagery. Don't take anyone's word for it. Contact the proper parties yourself, and make sure the answer you get is definite, and not subject to interpretation. And get the names and job titles of the people you are getting an answer from.

It's common sense. No one here, on this forum, is going to go to court for you, or pay the fines for you...

Be careful, especially with a commercial project.

Dick
 
#15
About the Google 3d model warehouse, I think if you read their license correctly it should be allow to use the models. When you add a model you grant permission for others to use it as well and I haven't seen restrictions on how to use it. But it is probably still better to ask the authors if in doubt.
The TOS actually states you have to ask permission if it is to be redistributed. Original creator retains all rights regarding the product uploaded. However, it also states when uploading to the warehouse, specific rights and licenses are issued to the end user (us).
http://sketchup.google.com/3dwarehouse/preview_tos.html

Using the Services
You continue to own all intellectual property rights in all content you submit to the Services. Using the Services does not give you ownership of any intellectual property rights in the Services themselves or other content you access. You may only use content from the Services in accordance with these terms, and may not make any other use of content from the Services unless you obtain permission from its owner or are otherwise permitted by law. In particular, unless you have obtained separate permission from Google or Trimble, you may not aggregate any content obtained from Services for redistribution, or use or distribute any content obtained from the Services in a mapping or geographic application or service.

Your Content in the Services
The Services allow you to submit content, including 3D models in the SketchUp and Keyhole Markup Language (KML) formats. You retain ownership of any intellectual property rights that you hold in that content. In short, what belongs to you stays yours.

Rights granted to other end users of the Services
You give other end users of the Services a perpetual, sublicensable, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute Existing Geolocated Models, Existing Non-Geolocated Models, New Models and related content and derivative works thereof which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services.

It a TOS agreement. It is stack-based. The most restrictive portions apply first in most cases. You cannot disassemble and use only parts you like. Just as though you were pulled over for speeding on a wet road, even though you were 10mph under the speed limit. The law says to the effect "under specific conditions and other applicable circumstances, the posted limits may be other than posted, or as deemed safe by the municipality or its representatives." Basically saying that at anytime your speed could be deemed unsafe, even if well under the speed limit, even though the rules for speeding say that anything over the posted speed is speeding, the safe speed would be the limit which exceeding would be speeding.

For the 3d warehouse, it applies a restriction, then releases that restriction. So legally you have rights, but have no rights. Now at the same time, copyright and trademark limitations and laws still apply and supercede the TOS in all cases if it was copyright or trademark protected prior to the upload. (Pepsi-Cola sign for example is in the warehouse, but its trademarked so you must follow the copyright and trademark limitations prior to the 3dWarehouse limitations outlined in the TOS. Legal law trumps the TOS) So if its not legally protected, its open for business, unless a legal protection is made, but it wont apply to items already released, only current or future releases. Even though you are released a license, you are still bound by the rest of the full TOS. If you do not agree to the complete TOS, you must stop using the service. The TOS is really meant to protect Google and Trimble. You run the rest at your own risk, which is why they close and copen the restrictions on usage etc.

To be legal, have a specializing attorney look over the agreements and confirm your rights. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act protects digital intellectual creations to a degree, without applying for a full copyright. However it is somewhat limited and open to dispute and claim of 'ignorance'.

What Dick stated makes perfect sense. Most of us are not attorneys and may give bad advice.

These and many forums argue back and forth about the legality and TOS restrictions of 3d warehouse items usage. Not one of them is an attorney and some of their suggestions would result in violations of copyrights and trademarks if followed. This is to put this topic into that perspective.
http://sketchucation.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=79&t=38857

http://www.gamedev.net/topic/537007-google-3d-warehouse-for-commercial-game/

Safest bet is pay for a photo creation company to fly over and take a few high-res shots. It wouldn't be more than a couple hundred to possible couple thousand dollars for many locations. Just make sure they sign a usage release agreement saying you are the owner or proprietor and you may do what you like with the images, otherwise you would have paid for a high-res Google map you cant do anything with except wish you could put it in your scenery. Would be a good screensaver at that point but thats all. Also make sure to get the camera focal length, fstop values, zoom level, distance from target, and/or the scale values of the image. (Scale is the most important. It reflects measurement value = real distance) Google maps fully zoomed is 20ft per 1 inch, probably close to 1:1000 or something close to that. US Sectional Charts scale is 1:500,000. 1inch=6.86nm, 1cm=2.70nm; WAC charts are 1:1,000,000, TAC charts are 1:250,000. Scale is determined by 'it would take this many units to make one of this unit. If you print the map on a sheet of regular paper at 20ft per inch, your scale would be 1:200 if the paper size was 12inches long, it would take 200 sheets to reach 20ft. A 1inch toothpick for example 1:300 (30ft pole = 360 inches. 1inch toothpick is a 1:360 scale telephone pole). glide ratio is similar. 17:1 is 17000ft horizontal for every 1000ft loss. Sorry all, got off topic. Back to the discussion. To get the scale of your images, pick an item and get its measurements. Then take that and see its size relation to its photo component. Do the conversions (ft to inches or CM if you measure the map image in cm) and you can get the scale from that. Scale is important for realistic photo scenery but it doesnt have to be exact.

If you dont want to do that, you could pay a commercial chopper pilot to fly you around for a little bit and use your own high-res camera to take your own pictures. This would be cheaper and the benefit would be you undoubtedly own all the rights and can do anything your little heart desires with them. They may not be perfect pictures but you could make them work and most people wouldn't be able to tell. Just make sure you do it right after a cold front rolls through with 2-3 days when the sky has cleared, otherwise you will hit the haze layers on the backside. Basically unstable and cold air is the clearest, bumpy but clear. Stable air allows the haze to layer up and obscure the scenery.
 
Last edited:

arno

Administrator
Staff member
FSDevConf team
Resource contributor
#16
The TOS actually states you have to ask permission if it is to be redistributed. Original creator retains all rights regarding the product uploaded. However, it also states when uploading to the warehouse, specific rights and licenses are issued to the end user (us).
http://sketchup.google.com/3dwarehouse/preview_tos.html
Thanks, it seems to have changed a bit since I looked at it a while ago as well (that was before the Trimble time). I also never used models for projects, just to test my tools :)

I agree with Dick as well. Just be careful and make sure to always check with the company/person who made the imagery/model. Especially with commercial projects.
 
#17
The section of Google 3d model warehouse TOS titled Using the Services includes:

In particular, unless you have obtained separate permission from Google or Trimble, you may not aggregate any content obtained from Services for redistribution...
In other words no more than one item of content can be redistributed without permission, which could be a show-stopper.

Also the section titled Business uses of the Services makes a business (commercial) user liable to meet Google's liability and expenses arising from claims against it, whether or not justified.
 
#18
The section of Google 3d model warehouse TOS titled Using the Services includes:



In other words no more than one item of content can be redistributed without permission, which could be a show-stopper.

Also the section titled Business uses of the Services makes a business (commercial) user liable to meet Google's liability and expenses arising from claims against it, whether or not justified.
It does say that, but it also releases both statements with this statement.
(Implied by uploading to the warehouse by any user) Rights granted to other end users of the Services
You give other end users of the Services a perpetual, sublicensable, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute Existing Geolocated Models, Existing Non-Geolocated Models, New Models and related content and derivative works thereof which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services.
This is why I said, and others have said, its open, but its closed. It applies a restriction, but releases that restriction. If you really want to be safe, talk to an attorney or the original author.
I am not a lawyer, however in a courtroom, this would imply reasonable doubt in the application and/or limitation of the TOS and thus any claim would most likely be thrown out. The TOS is designed for one purpose, PROTECT GOOGLE from legal action. You are expected to protect yourself from legal action. That is not Google's priority.
 
#19
It applies a restriction, but releases that restriction.
Restrictions are not applied and released.

the words "In particular, unless you have obtained separate permission from Google or Trimble, you may not aggregate any content obtained from Services for redistribution..." appear in the section Using the Services. This sets out the conditions for you (and all other end users) to use the service.

The words "You give other end users of the Services a perpetual, sublicensable, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license..." are preceded by Rights granted to other end users of the Services. They give other end users the right to use the models you have submitted and remove your right to prevent others using them They doesn't give you any rights.


The clause beginning "You continue to own etc" , which forbids aggregation with permission, still applies to all end users as does the section on Business uses of the Services .

Google can afford good lawyers.
 
Top