Editor Layer Index
The goal of this project is to maintain a canonical representation of the layers available to OpenStreetMap editors such as:
Both imagery and other raster data that is useful for mapping are within scope of the project.
This list is purely targeted at OpenStreetMap and does not include layers only useful for other projects such as Open Historical Map if the layers are not also useful for OpenStreetMap. With the way this list is structured it is easy to combine it with additional layer sources simply by copying the additional sources into their own directory and running
Some sources in this list are usable in OpenStreetMap because permission was specifically given to use them with OpenStreetMap and this permission does not extend to other projects. See FAQ.md for information about which imagery licenses are compatible with this index.
Using this index
If you are using iD, Potlatch 2, Vespucci or Go Map!!, you are already using this index!
For JOSM you can add
https://osmlab.github.io/editor-layer-index/imagery.xml to the preference key
imagery.layers.sites in advanced preferences. If you do so, you probably want to remove the
https://josm.openstreetmap.de/maps entry or you'll get the same layers listed twice. This is not recommended by JOSM developers, as the JOSM default imagery sources are more numerous, daily monitored and improved, so the overall JOSM database is superior both in quantity and quality.
For any other usage, use https://osmlab.github.io/editor-layer-index/imagery.geojson.
An interactive list of all layers (with a live map preview for most of them) is available at osmlab.github.io/editor-layer-index
JOSM imagery sources have been created in october 2010 to allow the OSM community to define new imagery entries in a way that make these entries automatically appear in JOSM software. In March 2013, the Editor Imagery Index (EII) was created by copying the XML data from JOSM wiki to GitHub-hosted GeoJSON files, in order to ease adoption of imagery data by iD editor during its development.
The index has never been used by JOSM, as this project has been seen by JOSM developers as an uncooperative and unneeded fork of their Imagery sources (converting XML data to GeoJSON data on the JOSM server side has been an easy task done in a few hours, and didn't require to setup another separate project on GitHub). The hiatus lead to a technical divergence with the years: ELI created a few new attributes, JOSM created a lot. As of March 2020, the current situation is that ELI defines three attributes not supported by JOSM, while JOSM defines 15 attributes not supported by ELI.
This lead to a complex situation for contributors where they could either contribute to ELI, or JOSM Imagery sources, or both. To address this issue, JOSM developers set up in January 2016 a comparison script allowing to ensure that JOSM imagery sources always remain up to date regarding contributions of OSM community at large. No similar approach has been made on ELI side, making JOSM contributions either ignored or backported by JOSM developers themselves, until most of them stopped this constant and time-consuming work.
In November 2018, the future of ELI started to be discussed.
In December 2018, JOSM developers created an integration system to detect dead links, broken systems and outdated configuration in imagery entries. This lead to a vast amount of errors fixed only on JOSM side, but documented on JOSM wiki to allow ELI maintainers to backport the fixes.
In March 2020, ELI has been forked by iD, going against the initial goal of having a single repository shared between OSM editors, and with a license violation of the data created among the years by JOSM and ELI contributors. Work is in progress between ELI maintainers and JOSM developers to align attributes to finally converge to a common technical description. License violation was later fixed, and iD started using ELI again.