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Private Roads

Private roads are a classic talking point around Libertarian ideas. The general idea is that infrastructure cannot be provided by the market (there are private roads of course, so clearly it can) – or that it is much harder to do so without being a Government (scale, eminent domain, etc.)

Google maps has interesting parallels to this. One the one hand, it is built on government infrastructure (GPS). On the other hand, google maps is now itself a piece of infrastructure. It is essential to so many businesses (including ours). One can imagine a public version of google maps, something similar to ordnance survey + routing. I can imagine them doing a decent job, but I can't imagine it becoming the product google maps has, nor can I imagine there being so many private competitors. In fact, without the example of google maps, they may well have never created their online tools (they are still…iffy)

Government was effective in creating the GPS system (at the time, it would likely have been very difficult for a private entity to launch such a system!) which backed the thing, this is great, but it did not create google maps.

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Last modified 2019-06-24 周一 20:49. Contact