Who owns geography? #dublinbikesfail

I read an interesting blog post about a company called Fusio who made an iPhone application letting people know where the new bike scheme points were around the city and how the owners of the scheme JC Decaux were threatening them with legal action – check it out here #dublinbikesfail (for those of you not on twitter that’s a way of marking a keyword in a post).

The issue I have is this: how is it illegal or legally enforceable to prevent a person or company from making an application that points out specific areas geographically? If I made an application pointing out rivers would Dublin City Council be able to take me to task? If I made on for the nearest McDonalds could I be sued? If you listed the nearest Dart station you are merely providing latitude and longitude of certain landmarks or public services, the bikes are payment to the public of a service in return for advertising space, so the supply of the service …

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