Blocked Tiles

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Users of applications not following the Tile usage policy might be guided to this page. It explains why the tiles are not being displayed anymore, and shows you where to find an alternative.

Advice to users

Blocked userfacing.png

OpenStreetMap is a volunteer project. We're reliant on the goodwill of our volunteers, and kind donations, to operate our expensive servers.

Unfortunately, some people have published (or even sold) applications for phones and desktop computers that download far too many map images from our servers. This is costing more than our volunteers can afford to fund. By slowing down the servers, it also makes it harder for our mappers to draw the maps - which is our whole reason for being.

This is a real problem. At one point, one single application was responsible for 30% of the traffic going through our servers.

We have a clear Tile usage policy which asks applications making heavy use to set up their own map image servers (using the map data we give them for free), or use third-party servers. Unfortunately, several applications have not heeded this. We are left with no choice but to block them.

In particular, these applications may be blocked:

But isn't that the point of "open"?

No. We're not able to give ready-made free map images to the world. We don't put adverts on our map, and can't fund the huge number of servers that would be required to give everyone free map images.

Rather, we publish the raw map data collected by our dedicated volunteer mappers. Other people can take this data and make maps out of it. Many people already do (see Rendering).

What alternatives do I have?

See our list of OpenStreetMap-based programs available for different phones:

Please check with the developer that the app doesn't use OpenStreetMap's servers, or it could also be blocked.

Developers: Please remind yourself of the Tile usage policy; for third-party alternatives, see List of Companies offering OSM Consulting; for help on setting up your own server, see Develop.