I like the site, and enjoy using it from time to time, it's a neat tool.
Can someone clarify what content Netronline is claiming as being under their copyright when displaying the historic USGS topo maps? They display as "(c) HISTORICAERIALS.COM COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL"
It's certainly your tool to develop and restrict as you please, but plastering public domain materials with your own copyright notice seems to be in bad form - especially when so much of the tool is based on public data and open source software.
Please consider the impression this type of thing leaves on your potential customers - as someone who occasionally purchases historical aerial imagery, makes frequent use of historic US gov resources in the public domain, and who contributes to OSM, this leaves a really bad taste in my mouth at least.
We occasionally receive similar posts or emails so you are not alone in your opinion. At risk of stoking the flames, your post as well intended as it may be does leave me feeling somewhat offended.
Although, some sources including the topographic maps are in the public domain that does not exclude us from protecting our work. The topographic maps are selected, coordinated, and arranged in such a way that the resulting work as a whole constitutes a new work. Besides, if you want the original non-watermarked topographic maps, we have them organized to be viewed for free on our website: Topographic Map Directory
What you fail to grasp and why I take offense by your statement is that the HistoricAerials website is a project of passion. If it were not for the help of a handful of devoted people along with spending millions of my own dollars what you see would not be possible. This forum was created so our visitors could share their views, ideas, and at the same time allowing us to be as transparent and as accessible as possible. Therefore, if you feel what we are doing is in bad form or leaves an unfavorable impression so be it.
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