this might be a sensitive topic - so let’s all stay civil
mapillary is great, and fairly open, and very friendly towards openstreetmap (osm) - which is where most of the mapillary contributors come from. the osm community is also all psyched about openness, sharing and other hippie-things.
for such open-minded individuals, an important question could be “how open is mapillary ?”
sure, we can view the images. we can use them for osm. but can anybody use the data we contribute ? “data” in this case would be the photos and the associated metadata we upload.
looking at the legal terms, that does not seem to be the case :
“Specific Prohibited Uses. You will not (a) use the Mapillary Solution in a manner that gives you or any other person access to mass downloads or bulk feeds of any Content, including Metadata” (from https://www.mapillary.com/terms ).
now, one the one hand, it is understandable - mapillary is trying to get more venture capital, expand and survive the fight against massive companies that are much, much more closed (looking at you, “don’t do evil” google).
on the other hand, the volunteers are spending a lot of time and money (all that hardware, driving around, uploading…) to provide the crowdsourced content. being openness-geeks we are, we love what mapillary has enabled us to do (both contribute to osm and participate in one of the most open streetviews), but at the same time we recognise that some of the data we contribute gets locked up at mapillary. we donate it.
probably nobody would argue that mapillary should open up all the data - the 3d model, road sign detection, face/licence plate detection - that’s fine, it is not the data the contributors upload, it is derived data. note - community contributes (a lot ? a bit ?) to the blurring and roadsign detection, thus they might get questions on how much is that donating, and how much is contributing to the public knowledge. but that’s a different topic.
with the (mostly) mapillary-generated data being fine closed, the user uploaded data - images + their metadata - currently seems to be locked up.
and this is where another project that was dormant for quite some time comes into play. openstreetview is sort of like mapillary, just more open - https://github.com/openstreetview/openstreetview.org/issues/60 . most importantly, the photo metadata is not closed, and there already are users that avoid mapillary because of this clause : https://github.com/openstreetview/openstreetview.org/issues/6
with the lengthy introduction done, here would be my two questions, both to the mapillary community & company.
as a mapillary contributor, how important is openness to you ? do you think all the data, contributed by you, should be shared ? how much are you willing to tolerate being closed as long as the benefit to openstreetmap is bigger than any other project ?
as the mapillary company, do you see a chance of becoming even more open, sharing more data - at least all the data your contributors have uploaded ?
note that we all (come forward if you disagree) want you to succeed and become a massive open data collection that is also commercially strong - but what if you grow up and become evil, just like google ?