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#1 2021-11-29 01:14:32

Veiviseren
Member
Registered: 2015-11-26
Posts: 18

Laos Imposes Fines of Up to LAK 9 Million for Unauthorized Mapping

Do anyone know anything about this?

https://laotiantimes.com/2021/11/24/lao … d-mapping/

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#2 2021-11-29 09:24:53

AlaskaDave
Member
From: Homer, Alaska ; Chiang Mai
Registered: 2013-09-21
Posts: 468
Website

Re: Laos Imposes Fines of Up to LAK 9 Million for Unauthorized Mapping

I did not know about this but I had heard some time ago that travelers in China were forbidden to have or use a GPS device. Laos is connected to China and the Chinese regime.

I guess I had better not return to Laos as I have done some mapping there during visits in past years. Of course, a 9,000,000 KIP fine is equivalent to US$831.

How stupid is a government for criminalizing mapping in a country that is in need of quality maps?

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#3 2021-11-29 12:35:26

Tom Layo
Member
Registered: 2011-01-30
Posts: 77

Re: Laos Imposes Fines of Up to LAK 9 Million for Unauthorized Mapping

My neighbor got in trouble in Myanmar for having a GPS unit while biking there. Every phone has one, so this will probably simply overwhelm the idiotic government. One US state (Florida) has a similar law about "unauthorized" map making. Stephan told me you are making a data base, not a map. The distinction may not register on an authoritarian government. In any case, I'm going to start mapping whatever I can in Laos.

Once a Thai lady showed me a 50,000 Kip note she was thrilled to find and asked me what it was worth. It broke my heart to tell her.

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#4 2021-11-29 17:54:23

Bernhard Hiller
Member
Registered: 2011-05-10
Posts: 1,122

Re: Laos Imposes Fines of Up to LAK 9 Million for Unauthorized Mapping

Let us hope Thailand does not follow ...

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#5 2021-12-03 04:23:46

Veiviseren
Member
Registered: 2015-11-26
Posts: 18

Re: Laos Imposes Fines of Up to LAK 9 Million for Unauthorized Mapping

A friend and dirt biker in Luang Prabang looked into this. Apparently it is aimed at drones and the rest is lost in transliteration.
Let's hope that is the case.

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#6 2021-12-05 18:50:33

stephankn
Moderator
Registered: 2010-05-04
Posts: 651

Re: Laos Imposes Fines of Up to LAK 9 Million for Unauthorized Mapping

It is unclear what the purpose of this law was supposed to be. Certainly they saw a problem they wanted to solve.
Without background it is difficult to judge the impact.

I personally met with people in Vientiane who did mapping as per development aid projects and placed the data in OSM.
Also https://www.bing.com/maps as one of the big internet map provides is publishing maps based on OSM (see copyright statement in the web page).

So this is a point we should monitor, but not immediately have panic. Until it is clarified by local community, you should maybe lower your profile a bit. So not organizing mapping parties or similar.

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#7 2021-12-05 19:09:24

Bernhard Hiller
Member
Registered: 2011-05-10
Posts: 1,122

Re: Laos Imposes Fines of Up to LAK 9 Million for Unauthorized Mapping

A couple of years ago, they created such a law somewhere in India. Perhaps someone can find hints on it in our India subforum. In the end, likely some officials had a new idea for being bribed - in corruptistan, laws are made in order to be broken with bribes. And there are some big players with big money, like Google Maps. I guess they were the target.

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