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Free and open geographic data for the world

OpenStreetMap's core goal is the provision of free and open geographic data for the world. To support that we have a legal system consisting of three main components:

  • Contributor Terms - This controls data put in to our database. A key purpose is to ensure that our data remains free and open forever, but give future generations flexibility in deciding what "free and open" means and what should be our most appropriate end user license. It also assigns the OpenStreetMap Foundation, a body that supports but does not control the project, the role of publisher.
  • Open Database License 1.0 or ODbL - This is our end user license and controls data taken out of our database. It is an attribute and share-alike license. You can basically do whatever you want with our data inside your own home or organisation, but if you then publish your results as data, then you need to tell folks about us, (attribution), and share back to the public any improvements that you made, (share alike).
  • Community Guidelines - To help make it easier to use our data from a legal perspective, we discuss issues and potential problems with our community and try to come up with guidelines to say what we think is reasonable.

Licensing Working Group

Other Resources

OpenStreetMap Legal FAQ

If you want to use OpenStreetMap data and want a legal overview or have specific questions, this is the best place to start.

Copyright violation

The OSM Foundation and community respect the intellectual property rights of others. We will respond to specific claims of copyright infringement by intellectual property owners or their approved agents provided that sufficient information is given.

State Of The License

Keeping our data safely free and open as well as making it easy to use without legal restriction is an ongoing process. This resource tells you about progress made and what we are still working on. Come back here periodically for updates!

See also