Hi, this is mapconcierge from sinsai.info, crisis mapping team.
We introduced the activity of our mapping team in the sinsai.info symposium which was held on May 14th, that we have been creating an OpenStreetMap (OSM), a free editable map. Many people are asking us,
"There's Google Maps, but why are you involved in OSM?"
Anyone can use Google Maps for free, it surely is useful, however, we cannot use it without any restriction. As specified in Google Maps/Earth Terms of service (http://www.google.com/help/terms_maps.html), we must not copy, redistribute, sublicense, or modify the Google Maps. For example, we need prior written authorization to make a copy and redistribute the Google Maps, whereas we can copy, redistribute, transmit and modify OSM freely, and its commercial use is allowed.
In addition, Google Maps and Bing Maps have the Map view and the Satellite view such as satellite images and aerial images. In both services, most of imagery data for disaster-stricken areas are updated after the earthquake. We, actually, prefer tracing such updated Satellite view to update OSM data, however, Google Maps does not allow such use. Bing Maps by Microsoft, allows us to trace their Satellite view freely to update the OSM data. That is to say, Google, which is considered as an "open platform" is actually closed in the mapping world, and Bing is open to OSM.