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Trap streets, easter eggs and Mountweazels

Speaking of maps without copyright, when I were a young corporate art drudge, it was beaten into me that I must never, ever steal art. Not for any moral principle, you understand, but because I worked for a big company with a lot of money and my boss would nail my ass to the wall if I got sued for copyright infringement.

To this day, I experience whole-body cringe when someone hands me a book and says, “here, you can use this picture.” Which has happened to me, I swear, hundreds of times.

Maps were always a particular problem, because we always needed good maps and who the hell can develop a map from scratch? Oh, the lengths I went to to steal maps without stealing maps.

I was schooled in the fear of trap streets. They’re fake roads put on maps so the copyright holder can spot when someone has traced their map. Here’s an article about trap streets in London. I pinched the picture at the top from that article, because I thought that would be meta.

Sometimes, the solution would be to put trap streets and easter eggs into a bit of traced topography. Or remove bits. Or stretch or shrink it along an axis. The point being, when one bit of art is overlaid on another, they shouldn’t match.

I have written about trap streets before. See also Mountweazel.


Comment from Durnedyankee
Time: March 16, 2023, 9:09 am

Hmmm. There’s a potential lawsuit there when some couple relies on a bogus map and ends up lost and dies in the dreaded Traps of Blackheath as they try to cut across a farm field which the map shows as a road and are murdered by a rolling round bale that swoops down on them from the top of a hill.

Montweasel, back in the happy days of 2019. Back before liquor stores didn’t discriminate between Russian Vodka and Ukrainian Vodka as good vs evil and morons didn’t “support” a country by pretending they were dong something important with their choice of food and liquor. FREEDOM (fries!).


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