Google Earth Hack Takedown
It wasn’t Google that asked Andy Fowler to take down his layer that showed the nearest geocaches, it was GroundSpeak, the folks behind Geocaching.com. It’s not clear why they asked him to do so, though a similar service from GroundSpeak for paying members seems afoot, but he did. (Read especially the comments to Andy’s post; clearly expectations of websites are changing.) Stephan at OogleEarth suggests that user contributed content (like the contents of Geocaching.com) perhaps should be more freely shared.
I understand his logic, but even if the content was provided freely, geocaching.com still has overhead. So too will say Yahoo as it collects reviews of restaurants or Amazon as it shares user reviews of products and books. Should those be freely useable too? This is yet another issue that needs to be worked out as we progress toward Web 2.0.