Agreement Announcement (18 November 2008)
The October OpenStreetMap Foundation meeting was held Tuesday 28 October
2008. The encouragement of GeoBase and their enthusiasm for
OpenStreetMap led to their legal analysis of the licenses and a finding
of compatibility. It was proposed that the GeoBase data be included in
OSM based on the license compatibility and the aligned GeoBase and
OpenStreetMap goals of providing free geospatial data to as wide an
audience as possible. The proposal was passed by the board.
The OpenStreetMap community, the OSM Foundation and particularly
Canadian contributors to the OpenStreetMap community have anticipated
this announcement for some time. I'm sure that you will all join me in
thanking GeoBase, the Foundation and the Canadian points of contact for
their patience, persistence and vision.
The importance of this announcement is hard to over-state. The
agreement between GeoBase and OpenStreetMap marks the contribution of
government data from the second largest country on the planet, the
largest country in the western hemisphere and the country with the
longest coastline on the planet. The GeoBase data set is rich and
diverse including the National Road Network, National Hydro Network
(surface water), Geopolitical Boundaries, Elevation data and Satellite
imagery. The scope of this contribution is unlikely to be surpassed in
Those of you with an interest in participating in the GeoBase import
discussion and project should join the other volunteers on talk-ca, the
mailing list for OpenStreetMap discussions relating to Canada. Like
previous data import projects for the USA and the Netherlands, this
project is community-run. Also like previous import projects the
documentation of the conversion and import process should be recorded in
the OSM Wiki, on the GeoBase Import page.
The Foundation expects that the OSM community will begin by examining
the GeoBase data and importing it in test areas of OpenStreetMap, where
little risk is posed to contributed data if the conversion and import is
flawed. As the community gains experience with the conversion and
import process larger areas will be imported.
The Foundation expects that, as with previous import projects,
converting and importing data in areas where it will be merged with
existing OSM contributions will be tested first in areas where
contributions are sparse, then in areas of more complex data. GeoBase
has generously offered their assistance with understanding, converting
and importing the GeoBase data.
Please join me in congratulating the OSM Foundation and GeoBase on
reaching this agreement that is in the best interests of GeoBase,
OpenStreetMap and Canadians. Please join me in thanking the OSM
contributors and GeoBase staff who kept the agreement discussion going
particularly, Claude, Yves, Corey, Michael, Tom, Sam, Andy, Steve and
GeoBase is a federal, provincial and territorial government initiative
that is overseen by the Canadian Council on Geomatics (CCOG). It is
undertaken to ensure the provision of, and access to, a common,
up-to-date and maintained base of quality geospatial data for all of
Canada. Through the GeoBase portal, users with an interest in the field
of geomatics have access to quality geospatial information at no cost
and with unrestricted use.
OpenStreetMap creates and provides free geographic data such as street
maps to anyone who wants them. The project was started because most maps
you think of as free actually have legal or technical restrictions on
their use, holding back people from using them in creative, productive,
or unexpected ways.
About the OpenStreetMap Foundation
The OpenStreetMap Foundation is an international non-profit
organisation supporting but not controlling the OpenStreetMap project.
It is dedicated to encouraging the growth, development and distribution
of free geospatial data and to providing geospatial data for anybody to
use and share.
- GeoBase Import documentation and discussion