Nominatim usage policy

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This is an Acceptable Use Policy for the server running at and does not apply to nominatim services run by yourself or other organisations

OSM's Nominatim service is mainly there to power the search bar on We are in principle happy for the public API to be used by external users for creative and unexpected uses. However, be aware that the service runs on donated servers and has a very limited capacity. We therefore ask you to limit your use and adhere to this usage policy.


  • No heavy uses (an absolute maximum of 1 request per second).
  • Provide a valid HTTP Referer or User-Agent identifying the application (stock User-Agents as set by http libraries will not do).
  • Clearly display attribution as suitable for your medium.
  • Data is provided under the ODbL license which requires to share alike (although small extractions are likely to be covered by fair usage / fair dealing).

Websites and Apps

Use that is directly triggered by the end-user (for example, user searches for something) is ok, provided that your number of users is moderate. Note that the usage limits above apply per website/application: the sum of traffic by all your users should not exceed the limits.

Apps must make sure that they can switch the service at our request at any time (in particular, switching should be possible without requiring a software update). If at all possible, set up a proxy and also enable caching of requests.

Note: periodic requests from apps are considered bulk geocoding and as such are strongly discouraged. It may be okay if your app has very few users and applies appropriate caching of results. Make sure you stay well below the API usage limits.

Bulk Geocoding

As a general rule, bulk geocoding of larger amounts of data is not encouraged. If you have regular geocoding tasks, please, look into alternatives below. Smaller one-time bulk tasks may be permissible, if these additional rules are followed

  • limit your requests to a single thread
  • limited to 1 machine only, no distributed scripts (including multiple Amazon EC2 instances or similar)
  • Results must be cached on your side. Clients sending repeatedly the same query may be classified as faulty and blocked.

Unacceptable Use

The following uses are strictly forbidden and will get you banned:

  • Auto-complete search This is not yet supported by Nominatim and you must not implement such a service on the client side using the API.
  • Systematic queries This includes reverse queries in a grid, searching for complete lists of postcodes, towns etc. and downloading all POIs in an area. If you need complete sets of data, get it from the OSM planet or an extract.
  • Scraping of details The details page is there for debugging only and may not be downloaded automatically.


Use of all services is subject to the OpenStreetMap Foundation privacy policy. Please do not submit personal data or other confidential material to any of our services.

Changes to this Policy

Please be aware that this usage policy may change without notice. In particular, the definition of heavy use may need to be modified in the future and you might have your access withdrawn. Commercial applications should keep that in mind when relying on this API for serving paying customers.

Alternatives / Third-party providers

For slightly larger requirements you may be able to use one the various third-party providers, though of course you will need to agree to their terms of service.

If your requirements are even larger you can install your own instance of Nominatim.